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Tuesday, July 27, 2021


Red Moon Tide features on this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2021 which is being screened virtually from Thursday July 22 until Sunday August 1, 2021.Galacia, Spain

Writer: Lois Patino

Director: Lois Patino

Duration: 1 hour 24 minutes

Genre: Fantasy / drama / sci-fi

“Red Moon Tide” must be one of the “artiest” art films in cinematic history! (Review by Barry Meehan)

I am fully aware that the Durban International Film Festival (as with many festivals around the world) concentrates on movies that can be classified as art films and, let’s face it – there are brilliant examples of this genre in the festival, but in my humble opinion, Red Moon Tide must be one of the “artiest” art films in cinematic history!

The movie dialogue is Galician, a Romance language spoken in (where else?) Galicia, a region in northwest Spain. It apparently has around 2.5 million speakers – not that there’s much dialogue in this movie at all. The premise is that the little coastal village where it’s set has been frozen in time, so all characters for the first twenty minutes of the movie stand around in various positions, staring blankly into the distance. Every now and then there is a whispered voice-over comment, with an English sub-title.

Some villagers blame the moon for the calamity that has struck the village, some blame the ocean, some blame a sea-monster, some blame a huge dam that has been built close to the town, and still others blame Rubino, a local fisherman and village hero, who is adept at finding bodies at the bottom of the ocean, but has now met a similar demise by drowning.

Rubino’s mother summons three witches to the village, which is a bit of a relief as there is finally some movement of humans on the screen. The witches set about covering all the townspeople where they stand with white sheets, which leads to scenes similar to those we have seen before, but now with sheeted figures standing around.

It would seem that the writer/director, Lois Patino, set out to make the slowest-moving film of all time. I cannot remember seeing a camera pan or tilt as slowly as it does in Red Moon Tide. I appreciate that the director was trying to create an atmosphere of doom and gloom - even dread, but some shots are so slow/long that they become somewhat boring. There is one shot towards the end of the movie of water being released from the dam, shot from above, the camera tilting upwards to show the force of the water, but it lasts for four minutes! Four minutes of water spurting out of a dam wall! Maybe some viewers can understand exactly what the director was trying to achieve with the length of this shot, but I’m afraid it was totally beyond me.

So, in essence, if you’re lured in by the synopsis and its mention of sea monsters, don’t expect anything like Moby Dick or 20000 Leagues Under the Sea. There is a “monster” towards the end, after Rubino is resurrected by the witches and walks around the village, ending up at the dam, where he releases the water, but if you know your fish species, it certainly won’t be anything to cause you any sleepless, haunted nights! – Barry Meehan

For more information on the Durban International Film Festival visit