Augusto Sandino’s A Vanishing Fog (Entre la Niebla) is an intimate look at the relationship between a father and son. While the film focuses on their bond and life together, it also draws in connections to history and global forces. Using a mixture of the surreal and magical realism, The story of F, a man whose sole obligation is to care for his ailing father, wanders the Paramo de Sumapaz, set in the Colombian region. Sandino’s use of sound and scenery work together to tell a story of isolation and love for home.
F cares for his father and they spend their life in silence. Most of their communication is done by touch. F roams the mountainous countryside, basking in the idyllic beauty of the land, but is interrupted by the sounds of war, volcanic eruptions, and the presence of an escalator that seems to go up into the sky. There is hardly any dialogue in A Vanishing Fog. There is only the F’s prayers, the occasional sound of a radio discussing a disappearance, and a preacher talking about sin.
The vastness of the environment emphasizes F’s isolation. He is alone in the land with only memories of history and environmental threats that plague the land. Social commentary blends with the fantasy elements of magical realism as F encounters a hidden treasure supply of fruit and naked women. The fantasy interludes between the scenes with the father imply a sense of escapism. F wants a life of his own, but he is tied to his homeland.
A Vanishing Fog is contemplative film and it is as visually arresting as it is unique in its storytelling. The shots of the countryside are beautiful as well as scenes that frame the father and son. Sebastian Pii gives an outstanding performance. This film is stylish while maintaining the message at the heart of the story. There are some scenes with fruit that will make you blush, but overall it’s a wholesome story about the ties that bind.
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