Truly, this has been a dynamite year for Chilean film. And moviemakers in Chile promise to continue to surprise by bringing original and thought-provoking stories to audiences worldwide.
This past week, “De Jueves a Domingo”, a new Chilean film directed by Dominga Sotomayor, received the award Alhambra de Oro (Gold Alhambra) for Best Film at the festival, Cines del Sur, in Granada, Spain.
This honor puts an international spotlight on Chilean female directors, like Sotomayor, who have dazzled audiences around the globe with their unique perspectives in film in past years.
“De Jueves a Domingo” tells the story of a family that goes on vacation at a time when the parents’ marriage is in turmoil. Thursday morning, young Lucía (Santi Ahumada), her father (Francisco Pérez-Bannen), her mother (Paola Gianini), and Manuel, her younger brother (Emiliano Freifeld), head north to Punta de Choros, Playa La Virgen, near La Serena – a coastal city in Northern Chile.
Behind the appearance of a pleasant and carefree family journey, the conflicts of a marriage that is slowly falling apart seep through the cracks in the facade. A long car ride with a hyperactive son soon fuels the the couple’s marital problems. The story, at some points, implies that this might be the last family vacation they have together. Yet, the tone of the film is not necessarily sad, rather it is nostalgic.
Throughout the film there is ambiguity and doubt, and unresolved matters are left up to the viewers to interpret.
Since the story unfolds from the perspective of the girl – innocent and delicate, and only mildly aware of the fact that there is something strange going on between her parents – the viewer is forced to glean the underlying emotional elements through subtle visual hints in the film.
Viewers have said that watching this film is similar to viewing old home movies. The cinematography is beautiful. The filter is grainy and almost sepia, giving the images an antique-like quality.
Renowned Chilean director, Pablo Larrain, also stunned this year with his film “No”, which received a standing ovation in Cannes.