Maite Alberdi, Chile, 2011, 64 mins
Saturday May 12 | 2:00 PM | Vancity Theatre
“That’s the lifeguard? With that hair?!” It’s a mean remark—one of many—intended teasingly for 25-year-old lifeguard Mauricio, our sympathetic hero in Maite Alberdi’s dark, humoured dissection of a Chilean beach. From his beach tower, Mauricio keeps a vigilant eye on the action, jotting down details of the weather and ocean current and shrilling his whistle at “no-swimming” disobeyers. Eager to a fault, Mauricio’s passion for beach safety marks him as an easy punching bag for sassy sunbathers and belligerent beachgoers. Everything from his dreadlocks, to his attention to the rules of beach etiquette invites acidic commentary. Despite this, Mauricio, with the aid and support of an adorable seven-year-old named Lucas, takes on the Herculean task of disciplining a sea of carefree vacationers. Illegal barbeques sizzle, pubescent boys ogle bathing beauties, and women commiserate about their drunk, jealous husbands. Brimming with warm humour, Alberdi’s film beautifully captures Chile’s sumptuous summer glow. –JM
Maite Alberdi was born in 1983. She has a degree in Social Communication, Aesthetics and Audiovisual Direction from the Universidad Católica de Chile. Her early short films including Los Trapecistas (The Trapeze Artists), and the short fictional film Las Peluqueras (The Hairdressers) were distinguished by their original cinematic language. Her first feature film, The Lifeguard, premiered at the First Appearance Competition at IDFA 2011. She’s currently working on her second documentary feature film Tea Time supported by Jan Vrijman.