Chirping birds and dogs barking are among the sounds that surround Maria’s life and daily routine. Filmmaker Anne Milne, in her 15-minute film, brings us into Maria’s world, as she lives in “El Chozo” (the small hut). Maria lives isolated here from other people with no other houses in sight. As a result, Maria lives mostly amongst nature. El Chozo is situated in front of a pathway that many tourists walk and bike past by and is where Maria sits and spends her days. Milne films Maria as she gets ready for the day, observing and interviewing her as the day goes on.
Maria, an elderly woman, gets up every morning, sets up her umbrella and sits down watching people pass by. She calls out to tourists who walk by, asking if they would like stempels (stamps). Making humorous commentary about them, Maria sits at her stand, and at times naps, but mainly jots down notes. Maria lives without technology, and passes time mainly with pen and paper. In contrast to the tourists, who say nothing or ignore her, Maria chats with the film crew and to herself throughout the film. Maria especially smiles when a man whom she calls “son” visits. He, Maria and his group chat amongst one another other. Having been ignored by tourists, this exchange changes Maria’s mood. She smiles, laughs and speaks in her native language with someone who knows her. The mood in the film shifts to a light hearted tone as Maria in a way, lets down her guard.
In a daily routine some people may find boring, Maria takes great joy. Living with her daily routine, viewers are able to learn more about Maria and why she does what she does. Maria lives her life in an old fashioned way, one that is sans technology. With technology being such a large part of our world, it may be crazy for some to even fathom the notion that people can get through the day without cell phones or even Internet but that is how Maria lives, sans technology, amongst the people and nature.
Milne gives us a glimpse into what life is like for people, like Maria, whose lives are very much based in routine. When questioned about why she continues this everyday, Maria replies that she will do this everyday, saying “I don’t know what God has in store for me.” Maria is content with her daily task, living amongst nature. Just as the film begins, the film ends. Maria goes back home, leaving us with the sounds of nature once again.
For this writer, a self described documentary lover, Maria’s Way was an interesting glimpse into the world of traditions that guide people to live their lives in a certain way. This is a character portrait and probably won’t be of interest to people who like action or romance films. For those of us who love slice of life movies or even documentaries, this 15-minute film may intrigue you.
At the time of this writing, the best way to see all these short films in the Flying Film Festival is to book a flight on SWISS. Stay tuned to these pages for updates on how to find these films after this juried festival closes.
November and December 2017
Courtesy of the Flying Film Festival
Swiss International Airlines Long-Haul flights
Air fare! For 500,000 people scheduled to fly SWISS before 2018.
Stay tuned for more information on where to find these films after the festival ends.