There are parts of this rich, rich world that are unknown or undiscovered to us. Idyllic spaces of vast greenery, dream-like water flowing copiously through the leaves and soils, and creatures of all-kinds creeping across the jungle floor. Within these spaces, not coveted by most Western eyes, are communities of people thriving on their own accord. In these pockets of isolation, there are equal bouts of conflict – whether it is war, survival, or even fractions of the same family, battling invisible horns upon their forehead for dominance.
Tigre is a film that floats between this sentiments with wonderful cohesiveness and precision.
Directed by in Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra Guardiola’s rich, seductive debut film revolves around sixty-five year old Rina who has spent her time away from her home in the deep Argentinian Tigre Delta. When developers threaten to repossess the land, Rina revisits her family, alongside her forty-something friend Elena. With hopes to reconnect with her adult son at the same time, the pair head back with tension already mounted on their shoulders.. As emotions broil in the hot summer sun, Rina finds herself confronting her past that had been buried for a mighty long time.
Tigre is teaming with absolute poignant and battered emotion as worlds, ages, religions, and preservation as generations meet in similarities and differences. The stifling attitudes of both the young and the old as their tribes attempt to pull forward against a whole new world. There is a constant threat that looms over the collective here and it is not just the bulldozers nipping at the jungle in attempt to flatten this seemingly quiet place. As sexuality and religion become forefront of the pieces, tensions broil over in this seductively beautiful piece.
None of this would be at all possible if it weren’t for Schnicer’s accomplished script and the mesh of performances that excavate the pulp and the grit that comes with both ageing and being young at the same time. Marilú Marini, María Ucedo, and Agustín Rittano are brilliantly as the middle-aged to elderly cast whereas María Ucedo, Magalí Fernández. Ornella D’Elia, and Tomás Raimondi, row along as the young fraction of the screen. There are absolutely impeccable performances here that bring life to this complex and brilliant film.
Technically superb, with sound-design and cinematography beating with visual and aural intensity allows a view to see the beauty around them. Tigre melts with palpable explosions that simmer in the decadent heat of the vast Delta. As physical destruction edges closer and closer to the thicket of people in personal turmoil, as does the ruinous attitudes of everyone battling against one another in a matriarchal backlash of ideals. It’s amazingly succinct and incredibly engrossing to watch in this shimmer of green, wave of nightmarish water, and creatures crawling across the floor.