Gabriel and the Mountain
Gabriel e a Montanha
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
While on a long trip that culminated in an exploration of parts of Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and then Malawi, director Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa’s friend Gabriel Buchmann died on a Malawi mountainside. Buchmann (winningly played here by João Pedro Zappa) was a generous and friendly idealist—he was due to start work on a PhD in public policy—who touched the lives of many during his travels, sometimes giving away large parts of his budget to help people in need. Barbosa sensitively dramatizes his story and, by enlisting the help of those who knew Buchmann to play themselves, fashions a beautifully shot amalgam of documentary and fiction that is both a paean to friendship and an insightful philosophical inquiry into modern travel.
"[The film] turns death into a rumination on the actions and ideas that resound in life… [and] offers a moving look at the transformative nature of travel, both on those hopping around the world in search of a new perspective and those they encounter along the way… Though never purporting to be a documentary, the film approaches its narrative with an added, inescapably emotional air of authenticity. Crisp cinematography by Pedro Sotero easily achieves the same effect; after lensing Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighbouring Sounds and Aquarius, he fills this feature’s frames with scenic yet contemplative sights well off the beaten track…"—Sarah Ward, Screen
France 4 Visionary Award, Cannes 17