Story of the 1990’s laying of a trans-Peruvian gas pipeline between the Cordillera and the coast — an event which in Peru symbolizes the nation’s definitive step into modernity — is the pretext for a celebration of man’s triumph over natural adversity, in Enrique Bellande’s “Camisea.” Part-funded by one of the participating companies, pic is beautifully made, often visually stunning and engaging thanks to colorful characters, but the cash connection raises uncomfortable ideological questions about why the docu fails to address the fact the Camisea project is famous for doing ecological damage. Fest and tube slots await.
After one of the team relates gas was discovered in the region in the early ’60s, the pic proceeds to the kind of upriver jungle footage not seen since Sheen paid a visit on Brando. The main business is a fascinatingly detailed study of the tech difficulties inherent in laying said pipe. Visual poetry is unexpectedly mined from this seemingly arid prospect by sharp editing and fine camerawork by Guillermo Nieto. Impressive tracking shots combine with striking ground footage showing the line was laid — sometimes on 50 degree gradients — at great risk to human life.