The Lifeguard

Maite Alberdi

Chile 2011.

The film observes the routine of a man who is anxious for the moment to arrive when everything will become worthwhile. While he waits for this to happen, he creates duties for himself and finds amusement listening to the living-room conversations taking place on the sand. The lifeguard becomes a silent witness to everyday life in Chile.

Focusing on a narrow part of society can be very beneficial for a documentary. It probably allows the director to become more acquainted with the environment and the people in that specific place. But it also demands something extra of the film which can be difficult to pinpoint in words. That perhaps has to do with a stronger demand for interesting characters, a special kind of narrative development and/or a stylistic approach driven mainly by originality and fascination. Being a somewhat narrow film portraying the working life of a lifeguard on a beach in Chile, The Lifeguard has some difficulties in meeting these criteria.

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