El Camino (The Path)
BERLIN -- Nicaraguan emigration towards neighboring Costa Rica forms the background of this contemplative road movie, reportedly the first ever directed by a woman in Central America. "The Path" is likely to tour film fests as a fine example of slow-paced Latin American movies with social or political implications.
The film follows the journey of two kids, Saslaya and Dario, leaving their village in Nicaragua in search for their mother, who settled in Costa Rica eight years earlier. En route, they encounter various characters that acquaint them with the reality of life in Central America.
An obvious follower of Carlos Reygadas and other Latin American filmmakers keen on long takes with little action, first-time director Ishtar Yasin Gutierrez manages to evoke an intriguing atmosphere and to convey the reality of immigration in this lesser known region of the world. In fact, a significant numbers of Nicaraguans flee into Costa Rica, one of the richest countries in the area. The director based her script on stories she herself experienced or was told in person, which give the film a documentary touch. The camerawork is impressive and sound design is particularly polished.