Liverpool is the closest Lisandro Alonso has yet come to making a conventional, commercial narrative. A sailor (Juan Fernández) on a freighter arrives at a snow-covered port on the cold southern tip of Argentina and sets off to his village to see (in his own words) if his mother is alive. Bleak and beautiful, this is the richest of Alonso’s films to date and, by the director’s standards, action packed. The sailor hits a strip club, bums rides from truck stops, and drinks himself into blackouts; he wakes up one morning in an outhouse, almost dead from exposure (a scene played for mordant humor). But most startling is the final act: Unable to connect with anyone in the family he left long ago, the sailor walks away from the camera. The film remains in this ramshackle community, with the family that has pulled together to look after one another. It feels like a new chapter for Alonso.
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