Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Mother Lode

Jorge — leaves his home on the outskirts of Lima and heads to the gold mines of the Andes. What he finds, in this striking documentary-infused drama, is a frontier town clinging to the cloud-shrouded mountains, a community governed by superstition and savagery in which life is cheap and the devil which lurks in the mines must be appeased. This impressive feature from Matteo Tortone blurs the lines between fiction and factual filmmaking to immersive effect; this world if expendable lives, lost souls and ritual sacrifice is vividly brought to life.

Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

A black and white tone that’s both stark and pure, deep and unforgiving, is what characterises Matteo Tortone’s movie Mother Lode. It’s as deep and unforgiving, in fact, as the mines of the Peruvian Andes, to which thousands of seasonal workers travel every year in order to support their families and hold out for a bit of luck. — The darkness of the mine is terrifying in this hybrid film, which straddles the documentary and fiction forms. Matteo Tortone’s camera dives deep down into the bowels of the mountain in the company of the miners, never leaving their side. Ivan Pisino’s music accompanies the rumbling of the rock, distant explosions. Time passes slowly in this circular story, to which there is no end, for in the darkness of a tunnel, names are forgotten.

Camillo De Marco, Cineuropa

Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 87 min
Age Limit: K12
Year: 2021
Production Country: France, Italy, Switzerland

Director: Matteo Tortone
Producer: Alexis Taillant, Nadège Labé, Margot Mecca, Benjamin Poumey
Production Company: Wendigo Films, Malfé Films, C-Side Porduction
Screenplay: Mathieu Granier, Matteo Tortone
Editing: Enrico Giovannone
Cinematographer: Patrick Tresch
Music: Ivan Pisino
Sound Design: Jean-Baptiste Madry