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Critics Beg to Differ
by Jenny Mather

One Film: TwoOpinions on Alicia, Go Yonder (Vete más lejos, Alicia)


When Alicia (Sofia Espinosa) leaves her home for Argentina, she doesn’t have much of a plan, but she knows she wants to see snow. In Buenos Aires, the 19-year-old Mexican works as a dog walker, hangs out with new friends and takes trapeze lessons. Unable to make the leap to the trapeze (called the “leap of faith” by some), she realizes she may not be ready for living abrAoad. She feels homesick, disoriented, and decides she must go home—but only after seeing the glaciers of Patagonia! In a hotel where Ashe can’t even get a snack (it’s off-season) she meets another lonely traveller and glacier lover (Martin Piroyansky). They share his food, talk, and spend the night together.

Alicia, Go Yonder is the first feature film by Mexican director Elisa Miller. Miller is best known for her short fiction film Ver llover (2006) which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Miller lets us share Alicia’s experiences and emotions without a lot of dialog and explanations — the images speak for themselves. Sofia Espinosa and Martin Piroyansky are so natural in their roles you sometimes forget they’re acting. I enjoyed watching this touching film and hope I’ll get a chance to see it again. (CG)


An appropriate subtitle might well be ‘Elisa Miller Go Yonder and don’t come back until you have learned to edit what you have filmed.’

Alicia (Sofia Espinosa) is a nineteen-year-old Mexican girl who decides to leave her comfortable middle class home to discover what snow, yes, snow feels like. Now, this is hardly an idea to grip the attention of most movie audiences, Elisa, but you compound the problem when you allow your camera to wander about aimlessly during Alicia’s journey to Argentina on plane and bus and which is intensely boring. Once she reaches her destination, Alicia finds some snow, frolics about in it and discovers no more than that it is cold. She meets a boy in the snow, frolics about with him too and then decides to leave him and the snow to return home. And that is the story of Alicia’s adventure.

The only saving grace for this movie is the fuzzy, impressionistic camera shots which Ms Miller occasionally makes and which are reminiscent of the patterns produced by a child’s kaleidoscope. Perhaps if you had concentrated on the pretty effects of the camera work, Elisa, and asked someone else to write the story for you, we might have had a movie worth watching.