Hunting Season (Temporada de Caza)
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After his mother dies, 17-year-old Nahuel is shipped from Buenos Aires to the south of Argentina to live with his estranged father Ernesto, whom he has not seen in over a decade, for the three months until he turns 18. Nahuel’s response to the loss of his mother is one of arrogant, sometimes violent defiance; his already troubled relationship with his father leaves them at odds. A hunting guide, Ernesto takes Nahuel out with his team, teaching him how to use a rifle and survive in the wilderness. As the young man learns to fit in with the locals, the rancour between father and son begins to fade and Nahuel comes to understand the intricacies of mature relationships and adult emotions.
Sidestepping the standard tropes of back-to-roots tales, with ‘Hunting Season’, director Natalia Garagiola takes a city boy to the country, where the familiar – family and teenage excess – are made strange (Ernesto’s five rambunctious young daughters in particular are a far cry from what Nahuel is accustomed to). The mountainous expanse of wintry Patagonia proves the perfect locale for coming of age, as Nahuel is faced with death and mourning, love and sorrow, regret and hope.