By Don Simpson | February 7, 2012
Director: Sergio Caballero
Writer: Sergio Caballero
Starring: Pau Nubiola, Santi Serra, Pavel Lukiyanov, Yuri Mykhaylychenko, Rosanna Walls, Claudia Schneider
A totally bizarro debut feature from 45-year-old writer-director Sergio Caballero, Finisterrae is destined to be perplexing and irritating for most U.S. audiences due to its meandering and seemingly plotless narrative; but the film will certainly reward the more patient audience members who are willing to allow themselves to become fully immersed in this senseless cinematic world of slapstick surrealism.
As the narration suggests, we are observing the spiritual quest of two recently deceased brothers (embodied by Pau Nubiola and Santí Serra; voiced by Pavel Lukiyanov and Yuri Mykhaylychenko) who have found themselves helplessly bored to death with the reality of their ghostly existence. The sibling sheet-clad ghosts seek rebirth as humans, so they embark upon a pilgrimage — via foot, horseback and wheelchair — across northern Spain to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela and eventually ending their meandering journey at Cape Finisterre (Finisterrae in Latin). Along their quest, the ghastly duo encounter all sorts of weird phenomena, some of which being more helpful and accommodating than others.
The best way to explain Finisterrae is to compare it to an elongated Monty Python sketch, co-written and co-directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Ingmar Bergman, Andrey Tarkovsky and Luis Buñuel. The mind-altering result is a purely visual experience that relies heavily upon the painterly HD video cinematography of Eduard Grau (A Single Man, Buried). The story goes that Caballero first assembled the soundtrack, then the film was shot around a vague itinerary-based outline, afterwards he dreamt up the Russian dialog — judging from the resulting film, I have absolutely no reason not to believe that story. I have seen some really strange films in my lifetime, but Finisterrae is certainly in the top ten. It is such a uniquely absurd experience that I predict that Finisterrae will soon be a cult favorite, especially among midnight audiences who might happen to find themselves under the influence of psychotropic drugs.