Alcarràs (2022)

The movie drops a bomb in the first few minutes: a family of three generations who’s been farming peaches from their orchards will soon lose their land, which will become a solar farm. Throughout the movie, I as an audience member accompany the various members of the family who each process the loss and grief all differently. The father, who’s the main workhorse of the household, tries to ignore the truth and just focuses on the harvest. The grandfather tries to persuade the solar farm owners by bringing fresh produce harvested from the land to their doorsteps. The teenager grandkids cope with the grief and loss in their own ways, which are chaotic, vibrant, and emotional.

As the movie progresses, the hope that I had, like the family once did, starts dimming. In a way, as an audience, I feel helpless by watching what’s happening to them and this, in a way, resembles what the characters in the movie go through throughout the movie. The hyper-realism of the movie makes this mirroring even more seamless. At the final scene of the movie, we hear the sound of a machine drilling and demolishing something for several minutes while the camera focuses on the family making peach preserve together with wary eyes in silence. And at the very last scene, the camera shows a zoom-out scene of the orchard with numerous trees already cut by the machine, that’s transforming the land, which has an utterly devastating effect.

I liked that the movie portrayed this devastating incident without having a clear villain or ridiculously dramatic performance from the actors. It’s a grim truth and people are processing it in their own ways, and there is something sad but very noble about this portrayal. This is because camera was there to capture the final moments of what they want to preserve in their memory, like the family making peach preserve to save what they have for a long time. And as an audience member, I was able to witness that as if I were there with the family.

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