The Peddler

El ambulante

“An evocative portrayal of life in backwoods Argentina, where time stands still; the spaces are vast and nobody, apparently, has a videocamera of their own.” — Jonathan Holland, Variety
Year: 2009
Country: Argentina
Running time: 84 mins

Editors: Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yurcovich
Producer: Adriana Yurcovich
Photography: Lucas Marcheggiano, Pablo Parra
Sound: Damián Turkieh
Music: Roque Banos
In Spanish with English subtitles

With: Daniel Burmeister

Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2009; San Francisco 2010

Daniel Burmeister is an itinerant artisan filmmaker who travels around rural Argentina making action movies with the locals, in exchange for food and board. He’s got a bundle of ready-made scripts he can easily adapt (this documentary charts the making – or remaking – of Let’s Kill Uncle), and if he has to draft in ringer firemen for communities too small to have their own fire brigade, so be it. In an era when movies are becoming ever more globalised, The Peddler celebrates an island of quirky cinematic calm in which filmmaking is all about community. Sometimes the demands of that community interfere with Burmeister’s plans and the ramshackle, grandfatherly filmmaker struggles to finesse his modicum of clout into the authority necessary to deliver a finished film that his current adopted home will embrace and be proud of. The filmmakers’ approach is as relaxed and easygoing as their subject’s, resulting in a warm, inviting movie that reminds us of how rich and diverse a cultural practice filmmaking and filmgoing can be. — AL

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