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Thread: New York Film Festival 2023

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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area

    THE SETTLERS/LOS COLONOS (Felipe Galvez 2023)


    Massacre of indigenous tribes at the hands of Spanish landowners in in 1901

    The vast area of Tierra del Fuego is owned by wealthy rancher José Menendez (the great, and busy, Alfredo Castro). Under Menendez's authority three men – Scottish army captain MacLennan (Mark Stanley), American mercenary Bill (Benjamin Westfall) and young mestizo tracker Segundo (Camilo Arancibia) ride out through the land with the zsskin a safe route to the coast. Given free rein, the men embark on a wild killer rampage, persecuting and slaughtering the indigenous Selk’nam people.

    Galvez' Cannes prizewinner may fall short as narrative, where it is fragmentary, but it is stunning filmmaking, using square format and closeups and percussive sound to shock us with the ugly violence of early white invasion of Chile and neighboring regions. Wendy Ide calls this film "savage if tonally uneven" in her Screen Daily review; but that is the point: the total disconnect between one minute and the next, in depicting a world in which morality and logic are missing; where there are no rules so atrocities prevail, and they're only a faint memory back in the capital.

    This film relates to Lucrecia Martel’s Zama (2017) and Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja (2014), audacious and influential recent depicting the brutality of colonialism in an offbeat way.

    The Settlers/Los colonos. 97 mins., debuted in Certain Regard at Cannes, receiving the FIPRESCI Prize, the first Chilean production to do so. Screened for this review as part of the New York Film Festival. OCT. 2 & 4, Q&As with Galvez.

    Limited US release in Jan. 2024 has been announced by Cinema Tropical.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-03-2024 at 03:18 PM.


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