Celina Murga’s feel for small-town life is on full display in The Third Side of the River. A comingof-age story centred on the efforts of an angry young man (terrific Alian Devetac) to break free of a broken family, Murga’s feature is a beautifully achieved film in which placid surfaces belie cauldrons of violent emotion.

The Third Side of the River introduces a family whose living arrangement has long ceased to seem abnormal. There is a mother, Nilda (Gaby  Ferrero), and three children: Nicolas (Devetac), Andrea and Esteban. There is also a father called Jorge (Daniel Veronese), but he hangs his hat across town with his official wife and son. Nicolas is on the cusp of adulthood – a fact not lost on Jorge. But the more Jorge labours to groom Nicolas in his image, the more we see that there is no one the boy wants less to become.

Don’t expect emotional fireworks – Murga’s style is a game of inches, where tensions hang in the air like unexploded bombs, and the way two characters’ eyes meet ripples through the film with seismic force.

Scott Foundas


Please note that the festival is over 18s only