A shocking incident throws a seemingly healthy relationship into crisis in this drama from director Julia Loktev
. Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal
) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg
) are a twentysomething couple who have been together for several years and enjoy traveling, taking a certain pride in their willingness to rough it rather than follow the easy path. The pair will soon be married, and to celebrate they've traveled to Eurasia to climb the Caucasus Mountains. After hiring a local guide named Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze
), the couple hike through the wilderness en route to the mountains. They spend their time swapping stories and soaking in the rugged beauty of their surroundings in respectful silence, with Dato offering his own curt interjections. However, one day the hikers cross paths with a group of hunters, leading to an incident in which Alex's reaction seems either prudent or cowardly depending on one's perspective. The trio eventually pick themselves up and move on, but nothing seems the same for Alex and Nica after that. The Loneliest Planet
received its North American premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.