My first film at the Edinburgh Film Festival was Alamar, directed by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio. I was not aware of this film before I saw it and although I am not a big fan of slow-paced dramas, the beautiful cinematography made this film something special.

Beginning with the back story of two lovers who separated after the birth of their son, the film then takes us a few years later where the son is now a young boy and is going to live with his father for a short period of time, where he is taught their family’s Mayan heritage in fishing at his home near the Chinchorro reef.

The story remains simple and this compliments the stunning locations of an area in the world that not many people have seen on screen before. The deliberate pace is a great way to see the development of the father teaching his son the skills to become a strong fisherman.

The cinematography in this film is among the best that I have seen, benefiting from filming at the actual locations of the story. The natural beauty captured for the film was stunning, Gonzalez-Rubio shows audiences epic fishing sequences, training a wild African bird how to walk stand on the characters’ arms and diving sequences near the reef where they live near. During the first half of this film, I honestly thought that this was a documentary due to the way that it was shot.

The cast give performances where you were not sure if they were professional actors or not, much like the child actor who was in Australia (dir. Baz Luhrmann), the child actor here is very natural in his performance. With the blend of the high-quality camera equipment, beautiful natural locations and some honest performances from the cast, this is a gorgeous film to see and the only reason that this is not in my favourite list is because it was a bit too long for my taste.

Here’s a trailer.