SAN SEBASTIAN, September 23 (EFE).- Ecuadorian filmmaker Ana Cristina Barragán closes the hard-fought competition for Horizontes Latinos at the 70th edition of the San Sebastian Festival this Friday with “La Pile Octopo”, a story of intense relationships. Iris and Ariel, 17-year-old twins who live on an island isolated from the rest of the world.
Inspired by “No One Knows” by Hirokazu Koreda, Barragan writes about a family that is torn apart by the mother’s decision to be “wounded by the city” and whose behavior is “unwilling and violent”, the director explained in an interview with Efe.
The twins have a very special “hermetic and intimate” relationship about feelings expressed verbally in a film. Unlike “Canino” by Yorgos Lanthimos, which the director did not see until his script was recommended to him, these teenagers are “separated in freedom”.
“I’m interested in what’s not domesticated, what’s out of the norm,” explained Barragán (Quito, 1987), who spent much of his childhood on the beaches of Ecuador where the film was shot, where his father now lives , in a natural environment of great beauty.
This is not the case with the boys’ father in “Octopus Skin,” who decides to return to civilization and is a character who feels ashamed of his family.
During the film, dreamlike underwater images of octopuses and molluscs intermingle, representing, the director says, “a strange species of underworld that only lives in it and is a mystery.”
“I think about dealing with characters who don’t fit in with their surroundings and who search out of their loneliness,” explains Barragan, whose first feature film, “Alba” (2016), premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival, presenting Participated in more than 100 competitions and received more than 30 awards.
Twelve films in competition
“La piel octopo” is the twelfth and final film to premiere in the Horizontes Latinos competition, a selection of feature films of the year, unreleased in Spain, produced in whole or in part in Latin America, directed by filmmakers of Latin origin, or whose setting or theme is the rest of the world’s Latino community.
The competition opened with a documentary by veteran Chilean director Patricio Guzmán about the revolution that erupted in Chile in 2019 and led to a new constitution to replace Pinochet, recently rejected in a referendum.
Also from Chile is “1976,” a story by Manuela Martelli about a depressed bourgeois woman (Alain Kuppenheim), who embarks on a fascinating inner journey into the dangerous atmosphere of secret opposition to a dictatorial regime.
It looks at literature as well as politics and history, including Cuban Pavel Giroud’s “El Caso Padilla,” which features an unpublished photo of poet Heberto Padilla in self-incrimination in front of the Writers’ Guild after his arrest in 1971.
Colombians Andres Ramirez Pulido and Fabian Hernandez join “La Jauria” and “Un Varon,” respectively, where they explore stories of young people marked by violence and poverty. “La Jauria,” which received the Grand Prix at Cannes Critics’ Week, takes us to an experimental rehabilitation center in the middle of the jungle, and the first film, “Un Man,” struggles to survive on the streets from Bogotá.
Although they do not live in a criminal environment, they are also teenagers, with the common emotions and concerns of this critical stage, the protagonists of “Sublime” by the Argentine Mariano Biasin, an LGBT story that won the Sebastian Latino award, which is gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual in the Basque Country. and awarded by a jury made up of members of the Intersex Society.
For her part, Mexican Natalia Beristain entered the competition with “Ruido”, a cry against impunity that tells the story of Julia, who becomes one of the women disappeared by violence in a play starring Julieta Egurola. Director’s mother
Juan Pablo Gonzalez, also Mexican, is competing with “Two Seasons,” whose protagonist tries to keep a tequila factory afloat in Jalisco among powerful foreign corporations.
“I Have Electric Dreams,” by Costa Rican Valentina Maurel, explores a teenage girl’s love affair with her violent father, while “Vicenta B,” by Cuban Carlos Lechuga, portrays Santeria as a salve for the loneliness of Cuban mothers who lose their children, either to the island. Because of leaving or they are burned there.
Finally, the first film of the Brazilian Carolina Makovic, “Carbon”, was presented, where a family living next to a factory, played by Cesar Bordon, an Argentine capo, in a story that shows how they cross the border to escape poverty is absurd.
Tomorrow, Saturday, at the closing ceremony of the San Sebastián Festival, the winner of the Horizontes Award will be announced, which will be awarded with 35,000 euros for directors and distributors in Spain.
Marina Estevez Torreblanca