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SAN SEBASTIAN 2018 Competition

Review: Between Two Waters

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- SAN SEBASTIAN 2018: Isaki Lacuesta focuses on two characters from his previous film The Legend of Time, playing superbly with the line between fiction and reality

Review: Between Two Waters

Isaki Lacuesta is a regular at San Sebastian Festival, where he has competed in various sections, winning the Golden Shell in 2011 for The Double Steps [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. He's back again, and this time he’s in competition with Between Two Waters [+see also:
trailer
interview: Isaki Lacuesta
film profile
]
, presented as a continuation of The Legend of Time (2006), which starred two teenage Gypsy brothers, Isra and Cheito, as the main characters.

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The two brothers are now adults: one is in the navy and travels the oceans, while the other has just been released from prison and is looking to regain his family’s trust, however, his family circle and the local working situation hardly help him to reinvent himself. Lacuesta’s camera, analogue and non-digital, just like in his first film about these characters, focuses on a well-known setting: San Fernando, near Cadiz, where extreme hardship rubs shoulders with extreme beauty, powerfully influencing a roaming Cheito who tries, just like his friends, to focus on achieving some stability and balance in his life.

Between Two Waters brings the viewer so close to these two brothers that we witness genuine labour during the birth of one of Isra's daughters. Lacuesta's camera sticking to their tanned skin, tattooed shoulders, and bare feet, wounded and stained with mud. The director loves these two men, fighting against the elements, and manages to pass on this passion to the audience without complacency, creating a portrait of a world that seems so real that people will wonder if this naturalist film is actually a documentary, a slice of life or perhaps images filmed secretly by a hidden camera.

And yet, this is not the case: the screenplay, written by the director with his usual writing partner, Isa Campo (The Next Skin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Isa Campo, Isaki Lacuesta
film profile
]
), and Fran Araújo (Hassan's Way: El Rayo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), structures the film so that there is always room for the actors to inject a little humour, spontaneity and authenticity, typical of southern Spain.

The film is dotted with fragments of The Legend of Time, which emphasise the passage of time and give the film an Andalusian Boyhood feel, the adverse consequence of which, due to a fascination with both characters, is Lacuesta’s slight loss of control of the film's runtime, giving us a 136-minute film, perhaps a tad excessive for a chronicle about time that never stops. Redemption, camaraderie and reinvention feature in a semi-unknown place that only the eye of a filmmaker as worried, sensitive and curious as Lacuesta is able to portray with both love and respect.

Between Two Waters, set to music by Kiko Veneno and Raúl Refree, was produced by the Spanish companies La Termita Films, Bteam Prods, All Go Movies and Mallerich Films with Bord Cadre Films (Switzerland) and SC Studio Indie SRL (Romania). The film is due to be released in Spain on 30 November 2018 (BTeam Pictures). International sales are being handled by Filmax.

(Translated from Spanish)

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