Seemingly fused together with salt spray and sunlight, ALAMAR floats and bobs along with the rhythms of the surf as two men and a boy fish, prepare food, eat, sleep, work and talk (barely) along the water. Seagulls hover and flap inches from their heads, crabs and turtles dart and scurry along the beach, sunsets and sunrises come and go, tides rise and fall, and a father, son and grandfather watch the summer go by. If it sounds simple, it is. But such is the splendor of a film that casually draws together nature and man, documentary and fiction, as if the art of moviemaking were the most innate, heartfelt act in the world. In today's contemporary cinema landscape, ALAMAR's purity of spirit and form comes as a revelation. "I was inspired by the simplicity of happiness," says director Pedro González-Rubio of this effortlessly stunning work, set amid the Mexican Caribbean's spectacular natural beauty and sleepy coastal villages, the Mayan fishing communities of the country's fabled Banco Chinchorro, home to the world's second-largest coral reef. ALAMAR is a crowning example of the renaissance in Mexican independent film and a memorable testament to the fact that cinema can still draw inspiration from (and dare to capture) the simplicity of happiness. - Jason Sanders
Jorge has only a few weeks with his five year old son Natan before he leaves to live with his mother in Rome. Intent on teaching Natan about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman's life. As the bond between father and son grows stronger, Natan learns to live in harmony with life above and below the surface of the sea.