3 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 7 minutes
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In 1985, the Argentine resort town of Villa Epecuén was flooded following the collapse of a nearby dam. The flood waters completely submerged the town, forcing the entire population to be evacuated. It was nearly 25 years before the flood waters receded and Villa Epecuén re-emerged as a massive ruin.

Today, the town’s sole resident is octogenarian Pablo Novak, who was forced to gather his farm animals and escape the flooding in 1985. Matthew Salleh’s short film follows Novak as he walks about the abandoned streets and ravaged buildings of Villa Epecuén. Novak offers brief memories of the town’s halcyon days and tries to explain why he chose to return to this obliterated community.

The story of Villa Epecuén is not well known beyond Argentina, and it is a shame that Salleh only put forth a seven-minute film to consider what happened in 1985. While “Pablo’s Villa” offers an intriguing glimpse of this tragic event – the views down the flood-wrecked streets are positively chilling – the story clearly deserves to be told with greater depth and scope. Hopefully, Salleh can use this very short production as a calling card to gather support for a more detailed retelling of the rise and fall of Villa Epecuén.

Posted on January 18, 2014 in Reviews by

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