HomeEntertainment‘What We Leave Behind’ Review: A Father’s Final Project

‘What We Leave Behind’ Review: A Father’s Final Project

When Iliana Sosa’s grandfather Julián Moreno turned 89, he stopped making journeys from Mexico to El Paso, Texas, the place Sosa’s mom lives. In her documentary “What We Depart Behind,” his granddaughter follows Moreno to his dwelling within the Mexican state of Durango and watches as he undertakes one final mission: constructing a home subsequent to his personal that his kids who migrated to the U.S. may return to.

With an method that’s extra elegiac than sociological, the director alerts the passage of almost seven years with the progress of the brand new constructing and the proof of Moreno’s decline. He shovels a bit. He fries an egg that begins sunny aspect up however ends scrambled. He carries a plank, aggravated that he can’t carry two. A quad cane seems.

Eschewing the politics of coverage, “What We Depart Behind” honors the poetics of a life: Moreno’s reminiscences of his long-dead spouse; his affection for the land; his fealty to his son Jorge, who’s legally blind and lives with him; but in addition his perception in onerous work. His face holds traces of the good-looking younger man pictured on the ID card he used as a bracero — an agricultural employee issued a short lived work allow to come back to the US after World Battle II.

Compositionally calm however by no means static, the documentary trusts in motes of magnificence: a canine lapping water out of a mop bucket; Jorge’s inexperienced bristled broom poised above a courtyard flooring as he listens; a once-sturdy man mendacity in mattress, his household surrounding him. “What We Depart Behind” insists upon energy in stillness, and the poignancy in staying — and leaving.

What We Depart Behind
Not rated. Working time: 1 hour 11 minutes. In theaters and on Netflix.

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