Aballay (2010): Excellent Argentinian Western With Some Spaghetti Flavor

aballay1

Yesterday, I finally watched the recent Argentinian western Aballay, el hombre sin miedo, directed by Fernando Spiner. While I will not write much in detail here, I wanted to just post my initial impressions.

Set in the Argentinian pampas during the late 19th century, this is an excellent revenge Western reminiscent of Giulio Petroni’s Italian classic Death Rides A Horse, but perhaps set in the world of Black God White Devil and Antonio Das Mortes. The performances, cinematography, and locations are excellent . . . earning numerous awards in Argentina. What is really cool, from my perspective, is how the filmmakers translated the imagery and themes of the Italian western into an Argentinian idiom. The movie has two characters that following parallel liminal narratives described in my article on the Carnivalesque Western alla’Italiana. The religious imagery is evocative without being too heavy handed.

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