Run time: 114 mins
Lois Patiño’s experimental film embarks on a captivating exploration of reincarnation, traversing the world through a mesmerising grainy, colour-drenched 16mm film aesthetic.
In rural Laos, young Amid is reading a Tibetan philosophy book to Mon, who is on her death bed, wondering what life she’ll return to next time around. Travelling between death and rebirth to reawaken on a beach in Tanzania as the baby goat Neema, she’s adopted by lively schoolgirl Juwairiya, whose mother Mariam farms seaweed on the tidal flats.
Seamlessly weaving local rhythms, music and artistry, Patiño creates an instantly timeless, documentary-like experience. Interactions are low-key and authentic. Blurring the line between acting and reality, you entirely forget you are watching a film at all. Observational footage, often gentle and quiet, connects the humanity in diverse landscapes, offering a commentary on shared experiences beyond cultural boundaries. But most striking of all, as we follow the soul of Mon into the bardo (the state between bodies), is a 15-minute sensory symphony that is among the most enrapturing cinematic experiences of recent years.
Transcending traditions and religions, this is a unique, visually stunning experience and a profound exploration of life’s interconnectedness.