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Foreigner

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.

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.

Foreigner

Argentina-Greece-Poland

  • Production: A Morocho Films (Buenos Aires)/Cinegram (Athens)/Scorpio Studio (Warsaw) co-production. Produced by Pablo Salomon. Directed by Ines de Oliveira Cezar. Screenplay, de Oliveira Cezar, Sergio Wolf, Lamberto Arevalo, based on Euripides' "Iphigeneia in Aulis."
  • Crew: Camera (color, widescreen, HD cam), Gerardo Silvatici; editor, Ana Poliak; music, Martin Pavlovsky; production designer, Aili Chen. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 16, 2007. Original title: Extranjera. Spanish, Polish dialogue. Running time: 80 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Carlos Portaluppi, Agustina Munoz, Eva Bianco, Aymara Rovera, Maciej Robakiewicz.