¡Vivan Las Antipodas! (3 stars)

¡Vivan Las Antipodas!

Heady cinematic documentary exploring four antipodal places on earth

Is beauty enough in a film? It’s a question often pondered by critics and after watching Russian documentarist Victor Kossakovsky’s latest, ¡Vivan las Antipodas!, it’s raised once again. Transitioning between four antipodal places on earth (sites diametrically opposite each other on the surface of the globe), the film shows the contrasts and similarities of the opposing regions.

Primarily focusing on the minutiae of each chosen place, we are taken on a sensual exploration of the world as seen through the highly polished lens of Kossakovsky. Utilizing highly innovative cinematography in which to shift from one geographical location to another, Kossakovsky is clearly aiming to beguile audiences as he takes the role of cinematic seducer.

He is preoccupied with the infinite textures which make up the fabric of the world around us, without actually saying anything about the areas he so lovingly captures; leading to a heady cinematic experience but one which is devoid of any lasting resonance with the beauty of the images fading into the distance. ¡Vivan las Antipodas! is perhaps a documentary to be more admired than loved.

Limited release from Fri 22 Nov.

¡Vivan Las Antipodas! - trailer

¡Vivan las Antipodas!

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Chile
  • 1h 44min
  • U
  • Directed by: Victor Kossakovsky
  • UK release: 22 November 2013

Documentary examining the lives of people living in four antipodal pairs: Russia and Chile, China and Argentina, Botswana and Hawaii, and Spain and New Zealand.