Build upon the myth of the elephants’ graveyard, Spanish director Carlos Casas’ Cemetery takes a meditative stand, often contemplative, divided in chapters, and offering gorgeous scenery, taken into a poetic tale for the senses.
The road to an elephant’s resting place, also meaning poachers tracking it, becomes a perfect metaphor for the greedy nature of humanity luring for its own ruin.
After the the first five minutes, establishing the mood, with various shots of the landscape, accompanied by eerie chants composed by Ariel Guzik, the first chapter involves an elephant and his mahout (elephant coach). No dialogues, except the sound of the radio which seems to announce some world disaster. It’s an elephant’s life and a bit of la dolce vita, especially when bathing time comes (that’s one happy elephant getting scratch behind the ears by his own personal mahout).
Things eventually get more tense, from a spectator’s point of view, as the poachers arrive…
With its ambient sound and music, long shots and overall eerie feel of ruminative nature, Cemetery, rather than a documentary, is more of an audiovisual contemporary journey, though it is featured at RIDM.
Nov. 16 6:15 PM Cinémathèque québécoise with French subtitles
Nov. 18 1:30 PM Cinémathèque québécoise with English subtitles