Films & Schedules

  • Liverpool

  • Lisandro Alonso

Argentina/France/The Netherlands/Germany/Spain
84 minutes

Production Company:
4L/Fortuna Films/ Slot Machine/Eddie Saeta SRL/ Black Forest Films
Lisandro Alonso, Ilse Hughan, Marianne Slot, Luis Miñarro, Christoph Hahnheiser
Lisandro Alonso, Salvador Roselli
Production Designer:
Gonzalo Delgado
Lucio Bonelli
Lisandro Alonso, Fernando Epstein, Martin Mainoli, Sergi Dies
Catriel Vildosola
Principal Cast: Juan Fernandez, Giselle Irrazabal, Nieves Cabrera

International Sales Agent:
The Match Factory

Wednesday September 1009:30PM JACKMAN HALL - AGO Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1203:30PM VARSITY 5 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

With four features to his credit, Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso is becoming a rising star on the international independent film scene. His distinctive style has remained faithful to the type of filmmaking he explored in his first feature, the courageous Freedom, which registered the daily life of a woodcutter in the Argentine Pampa. He continued such explorations in the more visually daring Los Muertos and Fantasma. Liverpool adopts a more classical narrative structure, and diverts from Alonso's tendency to focus upon the life of a single character. Still, like Los Muertos, it is a film about returning home, to the scene of one's “crime,” and dealing with the past.

In Liverpool, the wide-open and isolated spaces of the southern tip of the American continent are intensely contrasted with the confined, enclosed rooms of a large freighter. Alcoholic ship worker Farrel (Juan Fernandez) asks for leave when his vessel docks in Ushuaia, the southernmost city on earth and the departure point for boats sailing to Antarctica. Farrel wants to visit his aging mother, though he is not certain that she is still alive. We follow him on his journey to a small town – including frequent stops to drink – where he is obviously not welcome. He soon discovers that his mother is dying and does not remember him. The only person with whom he can connect in his hometown is his developmentally challenged daughter Analia, though their reunion is short-lived and disquieting. Before much time passes, Farrel leaves her a small trinket and disappears from her life once again.

Feelings of isolation and the inability to relate to one's environment run throughout Liverpool; a beautiful shot of Farrel walking through a dense forest to reach his destination underlines his solitude in breathtaking fashion. Through his austere, confident approach, Alonso stunningly communicates his themes and transmits mood with the most subtle gestures and refined camera movements.

Diana Sanchez

Lisandro Alonso was born in Buenos Aires. He studied film at the Universidad del Cine, and founded the production company 4L to produce his own films. He co-directed the short Dos en la vereda (95). His acclaimed feature films include Freedom (01), Los Muertos (04), Fantasma (06) and Liverpool (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award