All atmosphere and no story make “Foreigner” a pretty dull film, however curious the intention of Ines de Oliveira Cezar (“The Hours Go By”) to remake Euripides’ tragedy “Iphigeneia at Aulis” as a stripped-down desert parable. Practically forgoing dialogue to let the stunning visuals of Argentina’s Cordoba province replace the seaside setting of the Greek original, the pic ends up in a commercial wasteland. Of principal interest to those happy few who are already familiar with the play’s themes of resisting society’s injustice, it will have some marginal fest appeal.
A teenage girl (Agustina Munoz) wanders around the desert with her little brother, knowing her powerful father (Carlos Portaluppi) is determined to kill her, in the belief this sacrifice will end a terrible drought. Offering an occasional POV on the spare action is an out-of-place foreigner (played in Polish by Maciej Robakiewicz), who looks as puzzled as most viewers will at what’s going on. Film’s strong point is its setting in a rocky, burnt-out desert whose elemental forces, thrown onscreen in knockout Cinemascope by lenser Gerardo Silvatici, create an atmosphere of timeless tragedy. Pacing is leaden.