Country: Portugal / Finland
Review: “Hay Road” is a Portuguese drama with Western semblance and political message. Its story goes back to the beginning of the 20th Century and was inspired on David Henry Thoreau's writings concerning the justice and moral of the State. Some of his emblematic sentences are displayed throughout the film to better mirror the ideas behind the images. The story follows Alberto Carneiro, a shepherd who isolated himself in the mountains for ten years. After having received a letter reporting that bandits had killed his brother, Alberto returns to his village to make justice by his own hands. Departing on a solitary journey, he will bump into Captain Bacelo, a corrupt representative of the law. Despite its noble intentions and glaring photography, “Hay Road” wasn’t able to express its ideas in the best way. Trying to adopt a mood that gets close to some of Jim Jarmusch’s works, the film often stumbles in prolonged scenes with lack of intensity. Its disconnections seemed to gain even more strength with the philosophical sentences by Thoreau, constantly interrupting the (little) action on the screen. The philosophy behind the plot showed potentialities, but ultimately got impaired by a flabby execution, as well as difficulties in setting the appropriate mood and pace.