by Ben Sachs
The storytelling, also fairly blunt, concerns the coming-of-age of Manena, a rich teenage girl, during a summer at her family's lake house in the south of Chile. Her father owns a good deal of land around the house, which had long been the exclusive territory of the local indigenous population. Over the course of the film he becomes obsessed with ridding the lake of a foreign carp fish, and in so doing he seriously disrupts the natives' way of life. The girl's initiation into sex and drugs is accompanied by a growing awareness of her father's unjust behavior, not to mention her own class privilege.
This recalls Sebastian Silva's underrated Magic Magic in its southern Chilean locations and critical portrait of Chile's idle rich, though it's worth noting that Said's critique goes much further than Silva's. During one of the dinner-party scenes, Manena's father makes a shockingly blithe allusion to the Pinochet years, revealing the full extent of his insensitivity. On the one hand, it's one of the film's bluntest moments, advancing a straightforward comparison between Pinochet's military dictatorship and the economic dictatorship of the world's one percent. On the other, it speaks to the efforts of contemporary Chilean filmmakers to address the legacy of the Pinochet regime in the post-Pinochet era.