Salomé Lamas’ Extinção is set amidst the difficult climax over territories and boundaries claim resulting from the fall of the former USSR. The director unfolds the story of Kolya, a Moldavian of the unrecognized state of Transnistria. Stepping across the border of recognition, when you don’t exist as an entity, in a sensitive spot of the world map, can be mind-bending.
Featuring black and white cinematography and extreme long shots, Extinção, is a meditative essay with dreamlike qualities. There is reminiscence of City of the sun and Braguino, both presented last year at the festival, in the feeling of unease it creates. The mindset of a recent past is still very present, so are the vestige, the ruins. Overall, the film is an artifact of perception and iteration, ultimately finding its pace. But, while the dramatic purpose of the whole is obviously adequate, Lamas fragmented arty touch could leave the audience muddled.
The go-between, from facts to fiction, in which lies the misty essence of its own boundaries (as a metaphor) between documentary and experimentation, while captivating, is partially overdone. Herzog’s Fata Morgana with its repetitive opening comes to mind. Some part could have been easily trimmed.
Still, an intriguing oddball object comes out as a whole and ultimately, Extinção comes together as a beautiful and ambient, if fragmented, piece of metaphorical conviction and exploration.