The Loneliest Planet
A Film By Julia Loktev
United States and Germany
The moment that changes everything for the two characters in The Loneliest Planet is so brief that you need to make sure you are keeping your eyes on the screen. I almost missed it writing something in my notes. A lot of people could easily subscribe this film as one of those subtle works that requires copious amounts of attention for a sly and only relatively satisfactory payoff. However, Julia Loktev’s second narrative film is a unique look at communication that does require more thinking than the average film, but the reward after considering the film’s actions only deepens with time.
Shot in the gorgeous landscapes of the Georgian mountains, Ms. Loktev never sets up exactly what type of story we will be watching. We begin by seeing the young Nica (Hani Furstenberg) jumping nude up and down on a wooden plank that crashes against our eardrums. Is she captive? No, she’s just waiting for her boyfriend Alex, played by Gael García Bernal, to bring in the hot water so she can finish her shower. The two are on a backpacking adventure across Georgia. In early scenes, we see them interact with local culture through gestures and movements. These two are experienced in the world, we can tell, not just tourists trying to go the insider route.