Focus - Rey - | Tabakalera - Donostia / San Sebastián


A film by Niles Atallah

Rey, Nilles Atallah


Lucía, Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña, Niles Atallah, Chile, 2007, 4’ DCP OV ES
Luís, Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña, Niles Atallah, chile, 2008, 4’ DCP OV ES
Rey, Niles Atallah, Chile-France-Netherlands-Germany-Qatar, 2017, 90' DCP OV ES-Mapudungun, Sub. ES


In 1860, a French adventurer founds a kingdom in an independent region of southern Chile, uniting the Mapuche people. The response of the Chilean army is devastating. At least, that is one version of the true story. Perhaps he was a French spy? An exile? A fading myth? In Rey, the tension between history and memory takes shape in the degradation of images and sounds. Rey is an odyssey through a land of fantasies and dreams.


“When I first encountered the story of Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, King of Araucanía and Patagonia, I was intrigued by the enigmatic nature of this French lawyer and the scant memory of him today. Buried under layers of myths and legends, there is enough evidence of this man and his kingdom to prevent them from falling into total oblivion. However, there are so many gaps in the story that, at best, only a fragmented vision can be put together. Rey took shape during the scrutinising of the many pieces of the story of this king. I imagined a film that evoked an experience similar to that of the spectator: a journey through a land of forgotten dreams, the memories and fantasies of a decomposing ghost. And, like a dying memory, they remain as a chimera today, a king and a kingdom that exist only in dreams.”

Niles Atallah is a Chilean-American film-maker, who lives and works in Santiago, Chile. He was born in California in 1978. His first film Lucía premiered at the San Sebastián IFF 2010, Zabaltegi New Directors. He has won the FIPRESCI Prize in Cinelatino, and the Prize for Best Chilean Director in Valdivia IFF. In 2008, with the artists Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León, he co-directed Lucía, Luis y el lobo (Lucía, Luis and the wolf) which was shown at international festivals and exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2011.


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