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Millennium Discovers: What is it like to isolate in a cave for 45 years?

Discovery / Lifestyle

High in the mountains of Tucuman province in northwest Argentina, 83-year-old Pedro Luca has been living alone in a cave for 45 years.

Filmmaker Mathieu Orcel first made his journey to Argentina in June 2018 to make a documentary about Pedro’s life.

In the beginning of this year, Mathieu travelled to finish filming but was caught in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. He found himself quarantined in Buenos Aires, far from the mountains of Tucuman.

Facing isolation in an apartment, he sought advice from Pedro on how to live alone.

“It’s here, withdrawn from the world, that our spiritual path opens up,” Pedro said.

Communicating via video calls, Mathieu was able to continue his documentary with the help of Pedro’s nephew and a local filmmaker.

The film reveals Mathieu and Pedro’s contrasting experiences as they each discover what it means to be isolated.

“We suffer from loneliness and isolation, stalked by coronavirus. But in the cave, the predator that threatens Pedro’s only companions, the goats that choose to stay with him, is the cougar that always prowls, invisible”, Mathieu reflects.

Al Jazeera | Close Up

Filmmaker: Mathieu Orcel

Script: Agustin Muñiz, Mathieu Orcel

2nd Camera Unit: Mauricio Asial

Music producer: Lucy Patané

Field Producers: Agustin Muñiz, Mathieu Orcel

Producer: Ala Alhussan

Executive Producer: Andrew Phillips