The Wolf House

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The Wolf House (La casa lobo)

Directed by Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León

  • Chile 2018; 75 min
  • Original version: Spanish, German
  • Genre: Animation
    • Jury Distinction - Annecy IAFF
    • Audience Award, Héctor Ríos Prize - FIC Valdivia

Synopsis

The stories come in layers. There’s the one narrated at the start, about the joyful community of Germans living in dignity in the south of Chile. It may be set to wholesome archive footage of mountains and rosy cheeks, but even the narrator mentions the rumours, the other, less savoury tales that also circulate. There’s the story that appears as text on the screen, of a girl from the colony, Maria, who fled into the forest to avoid punishment, it in turn involves three little pigs and a big bad wolf. Then there’s the narrative that takes up the bulk of the film, the story of what happens once Maria enters the house she finds in the woods, rendered in intricate, mesmerising stop motion animation. But it’s less a story than an exploration of a space, for the house is never at rest. Pictures dance across the walls, pieces of furniture appear and disappear, rooms expand and contract, lights flicker, figures sprout from the floor like trees. Soon even she herself and the pigs she finds there begin to lose their stable form. As the house shakes and shudders around her, it’s as if it too is trying to tell her something, another story maybe or just a warning? “Once upon a time…”

Production

  • DILUVIO

    Catalina Vergara