by NILES ATALLAH
(Feature film currently in Postproduction)
REY participated at Cine en Construcción, Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine de Toulouse, France, 2016, the Cinefondation L’Atelier in the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. The project received a Production Award in the Framework program of the Torino Film Lab in 2012. The project also participated in the CPH:FORUM in Copenhagen and the rivieraLAB at the Riviera Maya Film Festival in Mexico. In 2011, REY participated in the Binger Writer’s Lab in Amsterdam and the Script & Pitch workshop at the Torino Film Lab.
Rey is supported by the Aide aux Cinémas du Monde (CNC), Hubert Bals Fund, NRW, the Doha Film Institute, Amiens Screenplay Development Support, the Torino Film Lab Production Award and Distribution Grant, the Binger FilmLab, an Australab Award, and a Chilean Corfo development grant. The project was also selected to participate in the Pavillon Les Cinémas du Monde, Cannes Film Festival & Cinéma en développement 5, Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine de Toulouse, France, 2010 and at Australab at the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile, 2010.
In 1860, a French lawyer dreamt of becoming the King of Patagonia. And he did become just that. Or so it seems.
In 1860, a 35 year old Frenchman explores Araucania, an autonomous region in southern Chile. He travels with a local guide and carries a hand-made flag with him. He searches for Chief Mañil, but arrives too late, Mañil has just died. He goes on to meet his feared son Quilapan who is known to hate Europeans, but he manages to win his support and the backing of other Mapuche chiefs. They elect him King of Araucania and Patagonia, uniting their tribes for the first time in history.
The King is then confronted by the Chilean court of justice. His guide has turned him in and he now has to defend himself. His reasonings and conclusions seem flawless: Araucania is outside of Chile, so how can Chile condemn him? But the events are retold in the trial and relevant facts seem to differ…
Imprisoned in a gruesome cell, ill-fed, feverish, constantly ridiculed, he takes refuge in ecstatic dreams. Spiraling into delirium, he travels south through his Patagonian kingdom populated with mythical creatures. Having fought for his vision with all his might, he finally lets out his last breath as he reaches the end of the world.