Tender, suspenseful, beautifully observed tale of the bond that develops between a young Argentinian farmhand and the farmers’ neglected baby.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
Little Sky, based on a true story filmmaker María Victoria Menis first read in a newspaper, is exquisitely successful in conveying the bond that grows between a young man and a baby. Félix, a solitary 21-year-old drifter, arrives at a village in Argentina where he’s offered work in exchange for bed and board on a small farm. While the farming couple bicker and fight, and the despairing young wife tries to win Félix’s support, their attention to one-year-old Chango is erratic at best. The baby’s responsiveness to the tentative comfort the farmhand provides awakens a deep protective instinct in the young man. What passes between them on screen is incredibly moving to behold, rendered all the more so by our apprehension that anyone who falls headlong for a child not their own should be prepared to have their heart broken. There’s real sadness in this movie, but what lingers longer is the luminous, miraculously unforced picture of a young man’s tenderness and a baby’s delight. — BG
The screenplay for Little Sky, which I wrote with Alejandro Fernández Murray – inspired by just another newspaper piece in a Buenos Aires paper – attempts to give images, words and silence to the strange encounter between two forsaken beings who rescue each other. A 21-year-old man and a small baby.
The countryside, the highway, the city, are backgrounds for the story’s flow. I always knew that each of these spaces needed to have its own rhythm. The static stillness of the plains, the sliding flux of the highway, the madness of the city. And in the foreground the crucial narrative material: the bond between the boy and the baby, Félix and Chango, who build their own time, their own space, their Little Sky. In the devastation of Argentina, everyone is on his own, without goals, without a future. Life is no more than individual survival. In the middle of this chaos, the passionate attachment of a marginal youth for a baby becomes an exceptional example, a sort of heroic attempt at redemption. For me, directing this film became a painful, but necessary experience. — María Victoria Menis