France, Cuba, 30 min
Raudel lives and works in a shipyard in Bahia Honda in the western Cuba. By day, on the bay, he demolishes old ships. At night, in the belly of the boats, he watches over the wrecks and tells stories to his colleagues. Haunted by a strange childhood memory, he is on the lookout for ghostly presences. Alejandro Alonso (The Project, VdR 2017 and Metatron, VdR 2018) takes us on an adventure film in which boats are forced to remain at a standstill. Unable to set sail, these ship carcasses turn out to be metaphorical images for an island where borders are barely penetrable even to its inhabitants. Alonso’s camera poetically captures the complexity and layers that make up this territory that has emerged straight from limbo in which physical labour, failed dreams and traces of another time all rub shoulders. But while some borders cannot be crossed, others seem to delineate an undefined elsewhere. Abyssal tells of what attracts human beings to the void and of the mystery that divides the world of the living and that of the dead.