The Wandering Soap Opera
Chile • 1h 18m
Directed by Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento • Drama • With Luis Alarcón, Patricia Rivadeneira, Francisco Reyes • 2017 • 78 minutes
Filmed by Chilean master Raúl Ruiz in 1990 but left unfinished until it was completed by his wife and collaborator Valeria Sarmiento in 2017, The Wandering Soap Opera is a dreamily interconnected series of vignettes that spoof on telenovela conventions while reflecting Ruiz's feelings upon returning to his native Chile after more than 15 years away. In one episode, a man seduces a woman by showing her his muscles, which are actually slabs of raw meat slapped into her hand. Later, the man has a gun pulled on him when he accuses a poet of plagiarism. Meanwhile, through the television screen, five women have lost their husbands after an earthquake and embrace a better future together. All along, back and forth across screens, people are watching. Shot in gorgeous Super 16mm and featuring one zany performance after another from a cast having the time of their lives, The Wandering Soap Opera is a glorious sendup of the telenovela, which, at the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, Ruiz called the very best lens through which to understand "Chilean reality."
Up Next in Chile
Directed by Georgi Lazarevski • Documentary • 2016 • 100 minutes
Zona Franca is a large outdated shopping district at the heart of Chile's Patagonia, located near the Strait of Magellan. Everywhere this area shows the scars of the upheaval which transformed the last wild place of the original Am...