The Future Perfect
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    The Future Perfect

    El futuro perfecto

    Directed by



    65 min

    • Spanish
    • Mandarin


    Mar del Plata IFFZINEBI

    Xiaobin is 17 years old and does not speak a single word of Spanish when she arrives in Argentina. But a few days later, she already has a new name, Beatriz, and a job in a Chinese supermarket. Her family lives in a parallel world in a launderette, far removed from the Argentinians. Xiaobin secretly saves money and enrols at a language school. She tries out in the street what she learns there. After having learned how to “make appointments”, she arranges to meet a supermarket customer, Vijay. He comes from India, and although they can barely communicate with each other, they start a secret relationship. And when she practises the conditional, the form of possibility, Xiaobin starts thinking about the future. What would happen if her parents learned about Vijay? The more she masters the Spanish language, the more she interferes in the scenario. Her Chinese classmates comment on the events like a chorus.


    • Best First Feature, Youth Jury Special Mention, Boccalino d'Oro for the Best Film (Independent Critics) - FF Locarno
    • New Auteurs Grand Jury Award - AFI FEST
    • Best Fiction - Carbonia IFF
    • First Feature Award - ZINEBI
    • Critics' Award - D'A FF



    Zhang Xiaobin
    Saroj Kumar Malik
    JIANG Mian
    WANG Dong Xi
    Nahuel Pérez Biscayart
    Nele Wohlatz
    Roman Kasseroller
    Agustina San Martín
    Ana Godoy


    A witty and elegant re-imagining of cinematic language.

    Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

    Sharply self-reflexive, with a serious underlay of philosophical inquiry, the film features a deliciously downbeat performance from Zhang Xiaobin. It’s simply a delight to find a film that’s so insightful about issues of identity, exile, language and self — and at the same time, so elegantly funny.

    Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

    Few films this year have felt as assured as Nele Wohlatz’s lovable Bressonian comedy of manners El Futuro Perfecto... At sixty-five minutes, it was not only the briskest film playing at the festival but also one of the sharpest... Wohlatz’s film proved a kind of antidote to festival fatigue: It’s funny, straightlaced, and smart—a wry, surehanded spin on the documentary form with a subtle but rigorous use of offscreen space. And like the best of Bresson, it depends in large part on the presence of the lead nonactor, in this case the great first-time performer Zhang Xiaobin.

    Christoper Small, Fandor

    Nele  Wohlatz

    Nele Wohlatz


    We cannot really know who we are, and therefore I prefer it when actors don’t try and interpret their role as such — I feel cheated sometimes by over-explanation. It’s much more intriguing not to explain everything.

    Born in Hannover, Germany, in 1982, Nele Wohlatz studied Set Designing at the HfG Karlsruhe in that country. She directed the short film COUNTRYSIDE LOVERS (2009) and the feature-length film RICARDO BÄR (2013) with Gerardo Naumann. They were followed by THE PERFECT BACKPACK (2014) and THE FUTURE PERFECT (2016), Best First Feature at FF Locarno and New Auteurs Grand Jury Award at the AFI FEST. Recently she has directed THREE SENTENCES FOR ARGENTINA, included in the Argentinian collective work INTERVENED EVENTS (2016).

    Selected Filmography