The aim of “Intimidad” is nothing magnificent. It doesn’t try to change the world. It’s not about politics, or the war, or the economy. It’s not some humongous statement for us to think about long after the film has ended, and that’s probably why it struck a chord with me, in the end. Sabin and Redmon, directors of the utterly excellent “Kamp Katrina” excel once more telling the humanistic story of a poverty stricken couple clutching for a dream.
Like every poor person from here to Mexico, there are dreams and goals that are sought and often never met, and Sabin and Redmon seek to explore the dream of this impoverished couple and their incredible strength and discipline in achieving the dream however minimal or simplistic it may be, in the end.
Camilo and Ceci seek only to buy a piece of land and live on a farm with their daughter. That’s the basis of the entire film, but like most in Mexico, their dream may never come to fruition as, regardless of how hard or long they work, they just can’t make the right money to buy this land.
“Intimidad” recalls “Kamp Katrina” as it seeks only to explore the struggles of the poor in another country and how utterly difficult it is to accomplish goals when it is impossible to get by in this world. Camilo and Ceci are fighting a losing battle from the minute we meet them and yet they persevere in spite of the struggles that they face in the way of being unable to get ahead as they provide for themselves, and struggle with losing their daughter, Mimi.
Months before moving to Reynosa, Ceci left her daughter behind to live with her family in Santa Maria in hopes of her being happy there while they try to gain enough money to move to a better part of the country. But confusion sadly looms as they arrive to see their daughter who can barely recognize them and a bit disturbed, Ceci decides to stay behind.
One of the most admirable traits about Sabin and Redmon’s films is that they never truly manipulate their surroundings at all. They just stand back filming as nature takes its course, thus adding so much more of a humanistic portrait of the poor trying to survive in a world that offers them very little opportunities to strive. In a city constantly flooded from rains, and offering little jobs for the citizens, the couple has to decide if they want to split up, or live together and face possible homelessness.
The goal for the two to get their daughter back to them emotionally and physically becomes the most gut wrenching journey as they face the plan of earning the money for the land may take decades while their daughter is slowly growing away from them and may not want to go back home with them at all, when all is said and done.
“Intimidad” is a very barebones and gentle story about trying to find some sense of accomplishment in a world that asks so much and gives little in returns. The ultimate pay off is brilliantly poetic and gentle in its way leaving the audience with a definite message that sometimes all we need is family and even the biggest dreams can sometimes come true, even if they’re not how we originally planned.