Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival
Duelo
DR

Duelo

Duel

Alejandro Alonso

2017 / Cuba / 12 min

i Tuesday 28 March 16H00 Cinéma 2
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English + DEBATE

Shown with :
Casa Roshell by Camila José Donoso
i Wednesday 29 March 21H00 Luminor
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English + DEBATE

Shown with :
Casa Roshell by Camila José Donoso
i Thursday 30 March 14H00 Centre Wallonie Bruxelles
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English

Shown with :
Casa Roshell by Camila José Donoso

In Cuba’s Sierra Maestra mountains, 17-year-old Yoan can no longer find peace. With guidance from his mother, who has herself been tormented by trance-like states since her teenage years, he combats what may be his late father’s spirit. Enriched by Alejandro Alonso’s own experience (he has had a similar relationship with his grandmother, a Santeria priestess) and his previous shorts about rituals to invoke the dead, Duelo’s framing and editing are nonetheless anchored in an immediate materiality that is in tension with spiritualism: the boy’s hands vibrating on the electric saw as he cuts a plank, the buzzing of an insect, the rain, a cat’s gaze… The power of this vibrant rendering of the sensory world nourishes the silence – a silence that lies just below the surface of words and forms the bond between Yoan and his mother. But another story is also unfolding, one that is not just about lifting spells: by cutting a large cross in a strip of jungle and holding postures that involve both an athletic asceticism and prayer, the young man also learns to evolve in his struggle. A low-key teen movie, the film turns this duel into an initiation. Although Yoan’s shadowboxing conjures up invisible spirits in the air, it is after all the expression of a more commonplace rebellion – this demon, could it not also be the fetters of the family’s past? (Charlotte Garson)

Production: EICTV

Print source: Alejandro Alonso

Alejandro Alonso graduated from EICTV in Cuba. He won several awards at international festivals with, among others, Chrysalis (2012), Stairs of Heaven (2012), Close your Eyes (2013) and The Farewell (2014).