Deshora | Bárbara Sarasola-Day, 2013
Argentina/Colombia/Norway | Spanish with English subtitles | 102 minutes
North American Premiere! Filmmaker in person for Q&A!
Helena and Ernesto live by the mountainous jungle, in their tobacco plantation in Salta, Northwestern Argentina. Their marriage is already in crisis, but shakes up even further when a quiet and mysterious cousin of Helena’s arrives from Colombia to complete his rehab in this isolated wilderness. The cousin unleashes unknown forces on the couple, putting them in touch with emotions and desires until then suppressed. Through the use of handheld camera, an austere mise-en-scene and contained but subtly explosive performances, Sarasola-Day succeeds in creating an almost unbearably tense atmosphere as each character develops a relationship with the other. With this film, she crafts both a portrait of a decadent landowning aristocracy and its rigid patriarchal social structure, and an exploration of desire’s limits and expression. Paradoxically, the tension brings life to Helena and Ernesto’s marriage. But by then they have become different people, and the restrained emotions that have accumulated throughout the movie eventually explode in surprising ways.