Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Cool and understated on the surface, this is in fact a deeply disturbing film—a riff on perversion and politics that will shake up your notions of justice. Mariana (Antonia Zegers) is the spoiled scion of a logging magnate; rich, petulant and entitled, she’s nonetheless a fascinating protagonist. When she discovers that her riding coach Juan (Alfredo Castro) is accused of committing brutal acts during Chile’s dark past, she has a puzzling response. Does she want him to rot in jail or take her in his arms? She doesn’t quite know.
Zegers gives a sharp, expressive performance as the mysterious Mariana, and, as her impenetrable coach, Castro is a model of subtlety. Fit and handsome in his sixties, he’s a great target for Mariana’s unfulfilled desires. He can’t decide what he deserves, and as he wrestles with his doubts we may find ourselves doing the same. Chile’s legacy of injustice looms large over the film, and the sadomasochistic intrigue is all the more chilling for its connection to past outrages. Dark, upsetting and erotic, this is a romance unlike any you’ve seen.
"Supremely assured and intriguing… Said’s precise filmmaking… rivets the attention."—Jessica Kiang, Variety