The Lifeguard (running time: 64 minutes) tells the story of 25-year-old lifeguard Mauricio, our sympathetic hero in Alberdi’s dark, humorous dissection of a Chilean beach. From his beach tower, Mauricio keeps a vigilant eye on the action, jotting down details of the weather and ocean current and shrilling his whistle at “no-swimming” disobeyers. Eager to a fault, Mauricio’s passion for beach safety marks him as an easy punching bag for sassy sunbathers and belligerent beachgoers. Everything from his dreadlocks, to his attention to the rules of beach etiquette invites acidic commentary. Despite this, Mauricio, with the aid and support of an adorable seven-year-old named Lucas, takes on the Herculean task of disciplining a sea of carefree vacationers. Illegal barbeques sizzle, pubescent boys ogle bathing beauties, and women commiserate about their drunk, jealous husbands. Brimming with warm humour, Alberdi’s film beautifully captures Chile’s sumptuous summer glow and will be a must-see for Palm Springs audiences.
Declaration of Immortality (running time: 28 minutes) chronicles the decline of the career of a great master mountain climber, provoking a reflection on his future life. It’s a moving story about one’s ability to come to terms with aging, and about a desire for immortality.