New Europe Film Sales, which manages the international sales of Matías Rojas Valencia’s “A Place Called Dignity”, “Un lugar llamado dignidad” in Spanish, which is currently in competition at this year’s Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, gave Variety exclusive access to the film’s international trailer.
The film presents a theatrical look at the events surrounding Paul Schaefer, a former Nazi soldier who fled to the Chilean countryside after World War II. There he established the German-speaking Colonia Dignidad (Colony of Dignity) and ruled a culture of torture, child abuse and murder for generations, thanks to the protection of the dictatorship of the former Chilean dictator. Augusto Pinochet. Under Schaefer’s leadership, the community entrenched itself, becoming indispensable to the locals and providing educational and medical services in an area where there would be none otherwise.
Rojas’s film is a dramatized look at real-life events surrounding Schaefer’s time in Chile from the perspective of 12-year-old Pablo, who receives a scholarship to attend school in Colonia. He quickly becomes one of Schaefer’s favorites and, over time, witnesses several strange things happening in the community, including abuse, disappearances, and the use of demon-like creatures to scare children away. and force them to submit. However, several members of the community are ready to turn on Schafer and could prove to be a lifeline for young Pablo.
In the trailer, we are introduced to Pablo and Schafer. The dramatic music and thriller scenes underscore the unease many members of the community must have felt constantly, and we see brief glimpses of the abuse perpetrated by Schafer’s closest confidants, as well as the theatrical methods used to keep everyone in check. online world.
Colonia Dignidad has proven to be a regular source of inspiration and curiosity among filmmakers in recent years, and has been the subject of the well-received and highly rated “Dignity” series from Invercine & Wood and Story House Productions commissioned. by Mega in Chile and Discovery and Joyn, ProSiebenSat’s streaming platform in Germany, the Netflix Original docuseries “A Sinister Sect: Colonia Dignidad”, as well as an upcoming project by Rojas, announced by Variety earlier this month, a hybrid documentary feature film based on Rojas’ research while writing and directing “A Place Called Dignity.”
“I’m part of a generation that grew up hearing stories about Colonia Dignidad,” Rojas says of his early inspirations for the series. “When their leader, Paul Schäfer, fled to Argentina in the late 1990s, he was still supported by politicians, the military and the police. I would say this place remains a mystery in many ways.
“This represents a country which used to sweep secrets under a carpet of so-called progress,” he continues. “Even today, there are active members of the government and influential civilians who were part of this circle of friends of Colonia Dignidad. They were the ones who protected Paul Schäfer. Thinking about this place can help us revisit our recent history. Not just in my country, but in other places where similar situations have occurred.
Produced by multi-award-winning producer Giancarlo Nasi (“Man from the Future”, “Lina de Lima”) at Quijote Films, “A Place Called Dignity” is an ambitious five-country co-production between the Chilean company – the producers of ” In the shade of the trees ”by Rojas as well as“ White on White ”by Théo Court in Venice, triple winner – and Autocroma in Argentina, Klinkerfilm in Germany, Mandra Films in France and Séptima Films in Colombia.
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