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A hug has a lot of contradictory. It is the most obvious and invasive way to present oneself and, therefore, to make oneself present to the other, but – if it is not accompanied by claps, greetings or other noisy obscenities – its modest silence makes it an almost mystical exercise in shared solitude. There are too many words. Nothing comforts like a hug. In its mute helplessness, one body surrenders to another to remind it that its pain, its hope, its loss or its fear are ours. Director Raven Jackson knows this and that's why her film 'All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt' is basically a hug. And so that there is no doubt, there are three almost infinite hugs around which the film is ordered and disordered at the same time with a delicacy, precision and taste for the stopped time that it subjugates. Hugs, in effect, subjugate.

The film is hard to tell because it is his vocation of freedom not to be trapped by issues such as storytelling. As is. Counting does not tell anything, which is the most studied and with more pedigree way of telling everything. But dramas, dangers and broken affections are intuited. A couple shares their love on the banks of the Mississippi River. They are united by land, water and a long, very long tradition of sorrows. They will love each other and they will do it in silence. And in silence they will embrace each other aware that when they separate to say goodbye, all will be lost.

Told through several generations and without temporal limitations of any kind, the story turns on itself, sinks into the past, ventures into the future and lets each viewer decide what exactly the present is. Below, or next to, a mother dies, a daughter is orphaned and pregnant, and the baby born of that love that we said before was broken will be given to the sister. And while suffering from centuries and endless rains on a river that does not end, the whole family will embrace again and again until they let the arms of some confuse with the backs of others. It sounds tremendous, perhaps disproportionately lyrical, and it is.

Jackson, formerly a poet and photographer, thus composes a film with mythical manners. Demanding, but of an unusual depth; Infuriating at times, but even distressingly beautiful. 'All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt' seeks at all times to compose its own grammar and its own light for black skin. And in his effort he leaves no wounded, he demands absolute surrender. It is true that the film likes itself so much that there are phases of unnecessary self-indulgence. That being the case, who can resist a hug?

Griffin Dunne at the presentation of "Ex-Husbands". ANDER GILLENEAAFP

'Ex-husbands', a story about old age condemned by the abuse of cliché (***)

That masculinity is in crisis is something we suspected long before the politicians of the Transition even started writing memoirs. And to present them, which is worse. 'Ex-husbands', the second film by director Noah Pritzker talks about that: the man who does not manage when time happens (not Alfonso Guerra, for example). The story is told of a man (not lord) who the passage of decades one after another has left him without parents, who die; without children, who leave, and without a wife, who divorces. And there, in the middle, is a recovered Griffin Dunne (yes, our hero of 'Jo, what a night!') without references and without knowing what to do with a life always lived through others. By the way, the woman is Rosanna Arquette (just for her, one more star).

Pritzker manages to get his film off the ground in the best of ways. The murky gesture of the men's collection he presents promises a veritable feast of despair. It is not that the latter is a desirable feeling, but it is true that well managed offers a little perspective and even a few doses of wisdom. Or so they say. Everything revolves around a failed bachelor party of one of the sons who gives life to James Norton. By chance of poorly planned flights all will end up in a resort in Tulum, Mexico, with the dubious expectation of celebrating no one knows what.

The first act of the film portrays with bitterness and detail that series of masculine rituals that give so much shame to others. However, and against all odds, what promised from the outset to be a tragic comedy or an acid drama that hurts and relieves at the same time (that happens) soon transforms without reason into an exercise as sentimental as evident of more of the same. The use of cliché in both narration and mise-en-scène end up ruining much of everything achieved in the first third of the footage. The last act, already completely given over to melodrama, only confirms that time passes, masculinity declines and the memoirs of the Transition suck.

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