Yulene Olaizola’s Tragic Jungle begins with Mexican chicleros scaling and notching huge trees to gather their sap. Because the men hack away with their machetes, the zigzagging patterns they leave on the trees awaken mind injuries of flesh and blood, an effect underscored by the pink living part that’s discovered beneath the surface of the bark. Although this follows of aggregation gum sap dates to the Aztec and Mayan empires, the sight of the staff wordlessly and miserably laboring for their boss seems like an Illustration of the unshackled agency of colonial capitalist economy, and because the opaque sap trickles down the ways etched by the machetes, the trees recommend victims crying out for justice.
Tragic Jungle is about the 1920s on the border of the United Mexican States and contemporary British Honduras (formerly British Honduras), it in the main follows a bunch of Mexican chicleros who, within the course of their work gathering tree organic compound for mastication gum, come upon a solitary, English-speaking woman named Agnes (Indira Rubie Andrewin). Fearing that she would possibly belong to a competitor British crew, they take her on forcibly, not knowing that she had just escaped from a vindictive white landowner (Dale Carley) whom she was presupposed to marry, and who is still in hot pursuit. More ominously, perhaps, intermittent narration from one among the chicleros (Mariano Tun Xool), tells of Xtabay, a siren-like female of Mayan legend. Unnecessary to mention, things don’t appear promising for any of the lads concerned.
Tragic Jungle additionally focuses plenty of its energy on reiterating the connection that man shares with nature. Whether or not it’s finding things to remain alive or in death – everything happens in nature and that we all return thereto. The film talks regarding the inherent bond that we have a tendency to share with it – and therefore, nature will exclude and provides because it pleases. in addition, we have a tendency to additionally notice that the lads' square measure terribly lost within the jungle during a bid to travel over to the Mexican aspect. However, rather than that specialize in the men’s ordeals or issues, we have a tendency to square measure nearly always targeted on Agnes. Director Yulene Olaizola makes bound to tell America that the men’s square measure falling right into nature’s, also as Agnes’s, trap. It’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tragic Jungle doesn't lack visual beauty: shot on location, it displays Olaizola’s background in documentary, also as some deft compositions. What’s missing, though, maybe a real sense of danger, a sense that things would possibly spiral uncontrollably. The film justly depicts numerous styles of exploitation (environmental, paternal, and colonial), however, it fails to convincingly convey the primal impulses thrumming at a lower place, that tends to dissipate into loosely emended scenes and ponderous lines like “the jungle offers you masses, however additionally takes plenty away.” a lot of abstract than intuitive, Tragic Jungle offers the matter while not the passion: a journey into the center of darkness while not the joys of the unknown.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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