In the nineteenth century, a French adventurer established a kingdom in inhospitable southern Chile, managing to unite the feared Mapuche under him. The Chilean army’s response was devastating. Impressively designed adventure film and powerful textural experiment, including sections of half-decayed celluloid: years ago, director Atallah buried certain footage, only to dig it up and use now.
Director Niles Atallah shot some segments in 2011, then buried the 35mm, 16mm and Super-8 film in his back garden. What does time do to a story? The results of these burials recur throughout the film – as deteriorating memories and the king’s wild visions.
With the support of the Hubert Bals Fund, Atallah also experimented with puppets, masks and stop-motion animation. Everything culminated in this astonishing, delicate work of art: an ode to film and a fascinating fairy tale.