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The Other Day     cover photo

The Other Day 2012

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Producer n/a
Directed by Ignacio Agüero
DVD, color, 88 min.

College - General Adult
Biography, Family Relations, Films, History, Latin Americans, Occupations, Photography, Poverty, Urban Studies

Date Entered: 09/01/2015

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Chilean filmmaker Agüero decides to tell the story of his family after the sun strikes an old photograph of his parents from an interesting angle. For one year, he uses film to describe and record bits and pieces of his past and present history. His father was a sailor; his twin brother Felipe was tortured by sailors during the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. A cat prowls the lush interior garden of Agüero’s Santiago home, hoping to capture an unsuspecting bird. Other family members come and go for no apparent reason. While pondering these and other mysteries of life, a steady stream of people comes to his door: delivering mail or packages, begging for food or money, looking for work or a convenient place to park a car. He tells them he is making a documentary about people who knock at his door and asks if he can knock on their doors in exchange. He follows several people to their homes and conducts brief interviews with them before returning to his home and his reveries.

Using numerous photography techniques, minimal sound and narration, and a decidedly nonlinear approach to biographical storytelling, Agüero successfully expands the boundaries of filmmaking in innovative and interesting ways. What might easily have been a confusing mash-up of competing images and messages instead tells a personal story that has universal appeal. It is a testament to the director’s skill as an artist and cinematographer that he effortlessly manages what is revealed and what is concealed in such a unique, engaging and thoroughly enjoyable way. Highly recommended.