Open City Docs Review: Shady River

A woman pointing a gun

Documentary filmmaking comes in many shapes and sizes. There are those which set-out to investigate and expose, some serve as biographies while others try to tell a story in (often) imaginative ways. Some of the most interesting and important attempt to serve as a document. To capture an event or a situation, using the voices of those who are the victims, or the witnesses. This is the case in Shady River.

Rio Turbio is a mining town in Argentinian controlled Patagonia. Due to long-held superstitions, women are not allowed to enter the mines as they bring bad luck. Citing a local legend which proffers that the Earth would become jealous and cause them to collapse. After a tragic accident, filmmaker Tatiana Mazú González, who is originally from the area, takes aim at this gender disparity in her film Shady River.

Shady River is an unusual and distinctly experimental documentary which captures the experiences of women living as essentially second-class citizens in a patriarchal society. using and number of audio and visual cues, we’re taken on a journey into the lives of others. Giving these women a voice and charting their experiences to the backdrop of heavy industry. Shady River is an unusual and abstruse portrait of struggle.  

Shady River screens at Open City Documentary Festival.

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