The Invisible Frontier

Filmstill The Invisible Frontier

The Invisible Frontier

La frontera invisible
Mariana Flores Villalba
International Competition 2022
Documentary Film
84 minutes

On an uninhabited island off the Mexican Pacific coast, members of the army do their uneventful duty. The film watches drills and everyday routines, but mainly the breaks which they spend playing board games in the shade of trees, in hammocks, swimming, flying kites or doing karaoke. The peaceful environment, however, does not hide the violent reality of their country which they are always confronted with, even out here.

In this paradisiacal seeming island landscape, the life marked by gang wars which these young men and women escape for an indeterminate time is visible only in metaphorical images, for example when the calm ocean surges up or when an octopus caught at the beach is slaughtered with bare hands. But in the conversations, the self-descriptions of the military men and women, everything revolves around the reality they grew up in: the brief moment that determines which side you’re on, the constant game of hide-and-seek, kin liability, the cruel consequences of wrong decisions. In her first feature-length documentary film, which is carried by the tension between the visible and the invisible, Mariana Flores Villalba wisely chose not to show the event but its effect.
Christoph Terhechte
Work Hard Play Hard
War and Conflict
Out of Balance

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Mariana Flores Villalba
Claudia Becerril Bulos
Astrid Rondero, Mariana Flores Villalba
Carlos Hernández, Gabriela Gavica Marrufo
Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, A.C., Imcine Foprocine
Eduardo Hernández, Israel Hernández, Adriá Campany, José Luis “Checho” Bravo
Federico Schmucler
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize