Dear Mara, letters from a trip through Patagonia
Director Carlos Echeverría follows a group of sheep shearers from a village on the Argentine pampas that travels across Patagonia on a bus every year, moving from one farm to the next. The director pays a lot of attention to the gorgeous scenery: the vast plains and the mountaintops hidden in clouds. At times, it’s as if the camera is one of the worker’s eyes, staring from the bus window during the long voyages. The story is narrated by an anonymous man reading from his letters to his beloved wife Mara, complemented with short monologues in which the shearers talk about their experiences. They accept the fact they are underway for six months of the year and do not have many demands - as long as the kitchen is okay and they have a decent place to sleep and shower. The situation becomes unpleasant when bad weather hits and they cannot work. Boredom sets in, and they kill time playing games and talking macho talk. But they never speak of home or about their wives. Inwardly, they long for home even though adapting to life there can be quite challenging. There are no rules on the road - at home, that’s a completely different story.