As in Jackie, his other 2016 release, Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín employs an unconventional, nonlinear structure for this biopic of politician and poet Pablo Neruda. Larraín opens the drama in 1948, when Communism was declared illegal in Chile and Neruda, a Communist senator who’d publicly condemned Chilean president Gabriel González Videla, became an enemy of the state. The narrative follows Neruda (Luis Gnecco) and his wife’s subsequent flight into hiding, but takes particular interest in an inspector (Gael García Bernal) who attempts to track down the fugitive and, perhaps more importantly, investigate Neruda’s poet-of-the-people reputation along the way. The cop is an invented character, and distinctly Nerudian; he seems to represent the struggle between imagination and suppression. With rich support from cinematographer Sergio Armstrong and writer Guillermo Calderón, Larraín effectively blends fact with fiction to both reflect Neruda’s work and amplify his life. In Spanish with subtitles.
Director: Manuel Basoalto
Producer: Manuel Basoalto, Robin Westcott and Waldo Herrera
Cast: Jose Secall, Paulina Harrington, Max Corvalán, Nelson Brodt, Sergio Madrid, Fabián Cabada and Juan Ruiz