San Sebastián, Sep 23 (EFE) .- Ecuadorian director Ana Cristina Barragán closes this Friday the hard-fought competition of Horizontes Latinos at the 70th edition of the San Sebastián Film Festival with “La piel octopo”, the story of the intense relationship between Iris and Ariel, 17-year-old twins who live on an island separate from the rest of the world.

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

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

“I am interested in what is not domesticated, what is outside the regulations”, explains Barragán (Quito, 1987), who in his childhood spent a lot of time on the beach in Ecuador, where the film was shot, where his now lives. father, in a natural environment of great beauty.

This is not the case with the father of the boys in “The Octopus Skin”, who decides to return to civilization and is a character who is ashamed for his family.

During the film, dreamlike underwater images of octopuses and mollusks are mixed, representing, says the director, “an underground world of strange species that simply inhabit it and are an enigma”.

“I am interested in dealing with characters who do not adapt to the environment around them and who undertake a search from their solitude” explains Barragán, whose first feature film, “Alba” (2016), premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival , has been presented in more than 100 competitions and has received more than 30 awards.


“La piel octopo” is the twelfth and last film premiered in the Horizontes Latinos competition, a selection of feature films of the year, unreleased in Spain, wholly or partially produced in Latin America, directed by directors of Latin origin, or whose setting or the theme is the Latin communities of the rest of the world.

The competition was opened by veteran Chilean director Patricio Guzmán with a documentary on the revolution that exploded in Chile in 2019 and which led to a new Constitution to replace that of Pinochet, which was recently rejected in a referendum.

From Chile comes “1976”, a story by Manuela Martelli about a tired bourgeois (Aline Kuppenheim), who enters the dangerous environment of the clandestine opposition to the dictatorial regime by making an interesting inner journey.

Also look at politics and history, as well as literature, “El Caso Padilla”, by Cuban Pavel Giroud, which shows unpublished images of a self-incriminating appearance of the poet Heberto Padilla before the writers’ guild after being arrested in 1971.

Colombians Andrés Ramírez Pulido and Fabián Hernández participate, respectively, in “La Jauría” and “Un varón”, in which they explore the stories of young people marked by violence and poverty. “La Jauría”, which received the Grand Prize at the Cannes Critics’ Week, takes us to an experimental rehabilitation center in the middle of the jungle, and the debut film “A man” to the struggle for survival in the streets of Bogota .

Although not living in a criminal environment, they are also adolescents, with the emotions and anxieties typical of this vital stage, the protagonists of “Sublime”, by the Argentine Mariano Biasin, an LGTB story that won the Sebastiane Latino award, which is awarded by the jury made up of members of the Association of Gay, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual and Intersexual Association of the Basque Country.

For her part, the Mexican Natalia Beristain entered the competition with “Ruido”, a cry against the impunity with which the story of Julia is known, who becomes one of the women who are trying to disappear with violence, in a drama starring Julieta Egurrola, mother of the director.

Juan Pablo González, also Mexican, is competing with “Two Seasons”, whose protagonist tries to keep a tequila factory in Jalisco afloat amidst powerful foreign corporations.

“I have electric dreams”, by Costa Rican Valentina Maurel, explores the love relationship of a teenager with her abusive father, while “Vicenta B.”, by Cuban Carlos Lechuga, portrays Santeria as a balm for the loneliness of Cuban mothers who lose their children, either because they leave the island or because they burn us.

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

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

Marina Estevez Torreblanca

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