October 7, 2022

Ecuadorian “The Octopus Skin” Closes Duel In Horizontes Latinos

San Sebastián, Sept. 23 (EFE).- Ecuadorian filmmaker Ana Cristina Barragán closes out this Friday’s hard-fought competition for Horizontes Latinos at the 70th edition of the San Sebastián Festival with “La piel octopo,” the story of the intense relationship between Iris. and Ariel, 17-year-old twins living on an island separated from the rest of the world.

Inspired by “Nobody knows”, by Hirokazu Koreeda, Barragán writes about a family that lives isolated by the decision of a mother “wounded by the city” and that behaves “irregularly and violently”, the director explains in an interview with Eef .

The twins have a very special “hermetic and intimate” relationship in a movie about feelings that are also expressed beyond the verbal. Unlike Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Canino”, which the director didn’t see until her script was recommended, these are teenagers “isolated in freedom”.

“I’m interested in what’s not domesticated, what’s out of the rules,” explains Barragán (Quito, 1987), who spent a lot of time in his youth on the beach in 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 “The Octopus Skin”, who decides to return to civilization and is a character who is ashamed of his family.

During the film, dreamy underwater images of octopuses and mollusks are mixed together, which according to the director “represent an underworld of strange species that just live in it and are a mystery.”

“I think it’s important to deal with characters who don’t fit in the environment around them and who go in search of their solitude,” explains Barragán, whose first feature, “Alba” (2016), which premiered on the Rotterdam Film Festival, was presented at more than 100 competitions and received more than 30 prizes.


“La piel octopo” is the twelfth and final film to premiere in the Horizontes Latinos competition, a selection of feature films of the year, not released in Spain, produced in whole or in part in Latin America, directed by filmmakers of Latin descent , or whose setting or theme is Latino communities from around the world.

The contest was opened by veteran Chilean director Patricio Guzmán with a documentary about the revolution that exploded in Chile in 2019 and led to a new constitution to replace Pinochet’s, which was recently rejected in a referendum.

Also from Chile came “1976”, a story by Manuela Martelli about a jaded bourgeois woman (Aline Kuppenheim), who enters the perilous environment of the clandestine opposition to the dictatorial regime while embarking on an interesting inner journey.

It also looks at politics and history, in addition to literature, “El Caso Padilla”, by Cuban Pavel Giroud, which shows unpublished footage of the poet Heberto Padilla’s self-accused appearance before the writers’ guild after being arrested in 1971.

Colombians Andrés Ramírez Pulido and Fabián Hernández are present with “La Jauría” and “Un varón”, respectively, in which they discuss the stories of young people who are characterized by violence and poverty. “La Jauría”, which received the Grand Prix at Cannes Critics’ Week, takes us to an experimental rehabilitation center in the middle of the jungle, and the debut film “Un man” to the struggle for survival on the streets of Bogota.

Although they do not live in a criminal environment, they are also adolescents, with the emotions and fears typical of this vital phase, the protagonists of “Sublime”, from the Argentine Mariano Biasin, an LGTB story that won the Sebastiane Latino Prize won, which is awarded by the jury composed of members of the Association of Gays, Lesbians, Trans, Bisexuals and Intersex of the Basque Country.

For her part, the Mexican Natalia Beristain has competed with “Ruido”, a cry against impunity with which the story of Julia, who becomes one of the women in search of disappeared by violence, in a drama starring Julieta Egurrola in the lead role , the director’s mother.

Juan Pablo González, also a Mexican, competes with “Two Seasons”, whose protagonist tries to keep a tequila factory in Jalisco afloat amid powerful foreign companies.

“I have electric dreams”, by Costa Rican Valentina Maurel, delves into a teenager’s love affair with her abusive father, while “Vicenta B.”, by Cuban Carlos Lechuga, depicts Santeria as a balm for the loneliness of Cuban people. mothers who lose their children, either because they leave the island or because they are burned on it.

Finally, the first film by Brazilian Carolina Makowicz, “Carbón”, was presented, in which a family living next to a factory takes on an Argentine capo, played by César Bordón, in a story that shows how they go beyond the limits of the absurd to escape poverty.

Tomorrow, Saturday, during the closing gala of the San Sebastian Festival, the winner of the Horizontes Award, endowed with 35,000 euros for the director and the distributor in Spain, will be announced.

Marina Estevez Torreblanca

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