Victor Kossakovsky’s captivating documentary takes a common musing – if you dug a hole straight through the planet, what would you see on the other side? – and pursues it to the ends of the earth. Travelling to four pairs of ‘antipodes’, places located exactly opposite each other on the surface of the globe, the film finds contrasts and commonalities, pointed juxtapositions and serendipitous visual rhymes.
In Entre Rios, Argentina, two brothers drowsily contemplate life’s mysteries beside a remote river, where they can only imagine the river of humanity that floods the streets of Shanghai. A woman and her daughter in rural Russia find their opposite number in a Patagonian shepherd with a herd of cats. The lava beds of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano echo the folds of a Botswana elephant’s skin, and the bulk of a beached whale in New Zealand recalls a rock formation in Spain – or vice versa.
As the soundtrack spills from one location to the next, the camera performs barrel rolls and backflips that turn the world upside down. Digital images are deftly spliced to bring opposing sides of the earth together, skylines mirrored across a common horizon. In Kossakovsky’s dizzy global vision, opposites attract.
Juliet Clark, San Francisco Film Festival