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53. Cenote; movie review

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Title : 53. Cenote; movie review
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Cert TBA
75 mins
BBFC advice: TBA

Nearly 75 minutes peering through a blurred lens of a camera which is immersed in an underwater sinkhole is not my idea of a good time.
Cenote is yet another independent film which prioritises arty presentation above storytelling.
I am afraid that listening to tribal singing and hearing abstract poetry while following a diver's view through crags and crevices of gloomy blue did not grab.
I thought Kaori Oda's film might explain how the cenotes, or sinkholes, came about and more about their importance to the Mayans who relied on them as their water source.
The sinkholes are in In Northern Yucatán and were used for ritual sacrifices by the Mayans who believed that these holy springs connected this world to the afterlife. 
"Blimey, that's interesting!" I hear you cry.
I agree - and, apparently, there is a mysterious atmosphere surrounding these places where people have drowned and their bodies have never been recovered.
But Oda is too busy trying to create something which is visually pleasing rather than informative.
So she leans on tricks such as training her camera through rock formations which resemble a monster's teeth while the diver's oxygen supply makes a noise similar to a monster's roar.
That must have taken a lot of setting up but it was only clever by the standard of a sixth form media student.
Sprinkled between the watery activity there is a presentation of grizzled faces, presumably of Yucatán local but with no explanation why.
And I am afraid that is typical of Cenote. Any substance is submerged by attempted style.

Reasons to watch: If you want to watch an art installation on screen
Reasons to avoid: Not enough of a story

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 2.5/10

Did you know? 
Estimations indicate there should be over 6,000 cenotes in Yucatán alone but there are only 2,400 cenotes which have been studied and registered. 

The final word. Kaori Oda: "I think Cenote was a good mix for me. I was filming people I did not know in a land I was not familiar with, but I believe there is an essayistic element to the film because after all, there are things that I had written into the film. I’m at a phase right now where I’ve started to think that even without filming myself or talking about myself directly, expression can carry something about me. When I watch Cenote, I think that there’s a lot of me in it. For example, just how naive the film feels." 

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