Utama (2022)

Utama (2022)

Wide in scope and intimate in detail, Utama is a breathtakingly beautiful film

7.5

Movie

Bolivia, France
Quechua, Spanish
Drama
2022
ALEJANDRO LOAYZA GRISI
88 min

What it's about

In the Bolivian altiplano, Virginio and Sisa, an elderly Quechua couple who have lived a quiet life for years, face an impossible dilemma during an unusually long drought: resist or be defeated by the hostile environment and the relentless passage of time.

The take

Before anything else, Utama will knock you off your feet with its breathtaking beauty. Set in the Bolivian highlands, it captures the arid landscape both in gorgeous wide shots and in unique detail. Then, after you take it all in and remember the vastness of the world and the smallness of humanity, the film ushers you into the lives of Virginio and Sisa, an elderly couple who get by with llama grazing. 

Theirs is a small but peaceful life, but it is endangered when a drought in the area makes it harder for everyone—especially a sickly Virginio—to live. Underlying conflicts start to emerge, such as old vs. new and country vs. city, when everyone but Virginio considers leaving the mountains. It's a simple story told at a purposefully slow pace, but it's one worth viewing for the tender performances, the urgent themes, and of course, the stunning cinematography.

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