Fading Memories | Chicago Reader

Fading Memories

Federico Luppi (Men With Guns) is an aging poet who ends more than two decades of self-exile in Buenos Aires to revisit his hometown in a Catalonian valley that civil engineers are about to turn into a reservoir. He arrives just as the townspeople are reluctantly evacuating; the older generation tries to preserve the past by rescuing furniture made of ancient wood while most of the young are materialistic and uncaring. Enrique Gabriel, who directed this 1999 Spanish-Argentinean coproduction, unfolds the story in a muted, deliberate fashion, and cinematographer Raul Perez Cubero saturates the misty valley?s winding roads and stone houses with an autumnal glow. The film celebrates an insular but gracious way of life that?s about to vanish, yet it?s counterbalanced by Luppi?s riveting performance as a wise, weary man who refuses to wallow in nostalgia and bravely acknowledges the passage of time.

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