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New Zealand International Film Festival

July to November NZ wide | TVNZ

The Peddler: Film Festival

The Peddler

El ambulante, Argentina 2009, 84m
Directors: Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yurcovich
Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2009; San Francisco 2010

Daniel Burmeister is an itinerant artisan filmmaker who travels around rural Argentina making action movies with the locals, in exchange for food and board. He's got a bundle of ready-made scripts he can easily adapt (this documentary charts the making - or remaking - of Let's Kill Uncle), and if he has to draft in ringer firemen for communities too small to have their own fire brigade, so be it. In an era when movies are becoming ever more globalised, The Peddler celebrates an island of quirky cinematic calm in which filmmaking is all about community.

Sometimes the demands of that community interfere with Burmeister's plans and the ramshackle, grandfatherly filmmaker struggles to finesse his modicum of clout into the authority necessary to deliver a finished film that his current adopted home will embrace and be proud of. The filmmakers' approach is as relaxed and easy-going as their subject's, resulting in a warm, inviting movie that reminds us of how rich and diverse a cultural practice filmmaking and filmgoing can be. - AL