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BALNEARIOS

Argentina, 2002 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Mariano Llinás

Balnearios combines oral tradition, faux- documentary style and techniques from the photo novel that resembles Chris Marker's seminal masterwork La Jetee, to celebrate the waterside holidays of Argentines from days long gone. Structured around four episodes, this wholly original film is filled with entertaining and often extraordinary tall stories.

There's the tall tale of the young man who won an enormous hotel at a gambling table at the end of the 19th Century, only to lose it to a group of swindlers a short time later. Is it possible that in Argentina there is a drowned city—an Atlantis of South America? Combined with the smaller, more intimate, nostalgic home movies of families holidaying by the sea-side in the 50s, where tourists enact long, pointless walks, and the eccentnc characters who dwell by the waterways, Balnearios is a refreshing and unexpected expenence.

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