Although the so-called “conquest of the Chaco” supposedly came to an end at the beginning of the 20th century, it continues today in hidden forms. Daniela Seggiaro, a native of this region, captures these attempts to surrender to the present and the resistance against them. Husek describes a battle. On the one hand, there is a housing project supported by the local government. On the other, the Wichí community who are fighting it, to preserve their way of life. Between a rock and a hard place, Ana, the young architect in charge of the project, finds herself isolated, prey to an inner conflict in the face of interests that surpass her. Daniela Seggiaro skilfully organises the antagonism of two worlds, two spaces, two belief systems, in a film with supernatural overtones. Language is the field of expression of this duality and of ultimate alterity. The director does not use a systematic translation of Wichí Lhamtés, a language in which Lionel, a young Wichí, sometimes answers Ana, who cannot understand him. And between two languages, the film itself boldly invents its own regime. It adopts a generous documentary scope that faithfully renders the spirit of the community. He allows himself some delightful fictional ventures designed to dissect the workings of a system of power and violence: that of the white developers over the Wichí community, that of the hierarchy that weighs upon Ana. And finally, that of then men around her. Husek is a film that takes its time, in the likeness of the lucid and determined tranquillity of the Wichí. They do not surrender to the methods of a world, where efficiency and success take precedence. And to prove them right, it is to them that the director entrusts her last scene, far from the fury of real estate. Sitting by the river, the women’s taunts caress the bodies of the fishing men. Promoters and great destroyers can but submit to the grace and harmony, brought to us by Daniela Seggiaro, in this piece of eternity, swept away by flow.
(Louise Martin-Papasian & Claire Lasolle)