Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 98 minutes
Stranger Says: The barely-goings-on at a huge, remote sheep ranch in Patagonia, very far from anywhere and anybody. The seasonal workers herd and shear sheep, and there is an uneasy relationship between the old overseer and a new ranch hand—with the older man seeing that his usefulness there is coming to an end. The film is slow and meditative, moving through the seasons of the ranch and how this place entangles the people living there. The actors are quiet but powerful, and the wild landscape and isolation give the story a worthy eeriness. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)
SIFF Says:Knowing little of life other than the workings of a vast Patagonian sheep ranch, weathered foreman Evans (Alejandro Sieveking, The Club) has his world upended after being replaced by talented young upstart Jara (Cristian Salguero, Paulina). Eager to prove his worth to an indifferent landowner and make a home for his wife and child, Jara easily proves his worth yet finds himself totally unprepared for the realities of an unforgiving winter, while an embittered Evans quietly plots a violent takeover of his former homestead, leading to a visceral fight to the death as nature rages around them in this austere and stunning thriller. In the tradition of the defining works of Hemingway and London, Emiliano Torres’ first film as director is a lean, muscular tale of survival against the unforgiving forces of both nature and man himself. Winner of both the Special Jury Award and the Jury Award for Best Cinematography at the 2016 San Sebastián Film Festival, The Winter takes its place among the classic tales of man’s struggle for control against nature and for his own destiny.