The Absent

An old man lives alone in a shabby cabin in a remote mountainous area of Mexico. His house is set to be demolished in order to facilitate the redevelopment of the area. He doesn't know how to protect his house. Time goes by and one day a young man shows up on his doorstep. Looking exhausted, he starts his new routine here, cooking and doing laundry just like the old man.


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  • ★★★½ review by C.J. on Letterboxd

    Ya'll are crazy for shitting on this.

  • ★★★½ review by Matt Thomas on Letterboxd

    An unusual, mostly wordless, mixture of old and new. With one very bizarre moment on the soundtrack. A fresh depiction of gradual insanity.

  • ★★★★ review by Nadin Mai on Letterboxd

    "Knowing Nicolas Pereda’s early work, I’d be inclined to say that his medium long film Los Ausentes marks a new era in his filmmaking. The trailer already looked haunting and different from Pereda’s usual filmmaking. The colour palette is the same, the actors have the same aura around them. And yet, and yet…

    Los Ausentes is, first of all, about an old, fragile man who loses his house near the beach. I assume he has lived there all his life, so loss (absence) is at the heart of Pereda’s film. It’s the very core of it, and Pereda perfects his usual aesthetics in order to transmit this feeling of loss to the viewer. Los Ausentes stands out in Pereda’s work because of its camera work. The director has always favoured long-takes, temps mort, and a very minimalist storytelling. But this film goes a bit further. In fact, it reminded me strongly on the films of Béla Tarr and the fascinating work by cinematographer Fred Kelemen (who himself made films, amongst them Krisana)."

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  • ★★★★ review by Robert Fuller on Letterboxd

    Tarkovsky + Reygadas + Godard = x, with x being a variable dependent on how much sleep you had the night before, I think. I was really fascinated by this film, but I'm not sure how much of that is because of artistic achievement and how much is due to the fact that I was super-tired and it was like a self-hypnosis tape for the eyes. Except, of course, when it wasn't, and I was ripped away from my reverie by one of Pereda's brutal, cruel (but in a good way) cuts. Each new scene is the previous scene's murderer-rapist. Granted, my fascination was contingent on there being only 0-1 human beings in the frame. Two or more and I lost interest. And the ending is a bit too smug.

  • ★★★★ review by I. Flick on Letterboxd

    Disappearing into the landscape. Pereda's camera captures the vastness of the world around us, untouched by the heavily industrialized world yet the ominous shadow of it lingers over every shot. Displacement from one's world, one is destined to fade away.

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