A normal day in Buenos Aires? Look closer. Something is very wrong here.
While the news speaks of riots and social unrest, with hints of worse to come, a group of people on a bus head for the delta jungle. Why? Nothing is explained, the geography is ambiguous, and incidents simply occur. Little is said; there is no recognizable psychology—and things just keep getting stranger. Even before the first shot (a perfect Reygadas homage), sinister pulsing music sets the mood. What follows is impeccable, spellbinding filmmaking with a closing image impossible to forget. Mixing the observational visual approach of Austrian filmmakers like Seidl, Geyrhalter, and Haneke with Argentine narrative sensibilities—a sort of truncated Historias Extraordinarias (Cinequest, 2009)—Parabellum is a mesmerizing journey into a most modern heart of darkness. - Charlie Cockey