15/03/2019 Documentary “Dreams of the Castle” touches down at the 2019 Málaga Film Festival

The Málaga Film Festival has built itself as one of the most indispensable and important competitions in Ibero-America, and it’s latest edition, which will take place from today until March 24th, will seek to strengthen new and recognized talents including several from Chile.

Among the competitive categories are three national feature films: the fiction film Perro Bomba by Juan Cáceres, and two feature-length documentaries, Las Cruces by Teresa Arredondo and Carlos Vásquez, and Dreams of the Castle by René Ballesteros. The latter focuses its narrative on a juvenile detention center in the middle of the Mapuche countryside in the South of Chile, where night by night, the young detainees are prey to recurring nightmares. The film is an exploration of the relationship between their lives, their crimes, and their nightmares, and the relationship between the territory and their dreams. Ballesteros gives details about the film and how he’ll take on the Málaga Film Festival.

– How long was this documentary being filmed?

The shoot began in September 2014, and lasted 6 weeks, 6 days per week. The longest part was financing and finishing it, editing was a long process. We learned to produce along the way.

– What is the search behind “Dreams of the Castle”?

To delve into the subjectivity of the young detainees, to enter their “mental night”. To show life in one of these facilities from a very subjective point of view, that of the nocturnal terrors and fears and everything that might be mobilized through them. In addition, the question is about how do we access the invisible, the remains of the dead that are under the jail, through their dreams? In Mapuche culture, the dead manifest themselves in dreams, and the idea was, through the material of the place’s concrete narratives and images, and those of its surroundings, materialize what existed in that territory before the jail was built. And to do it through the edit and the relation between sound and image, avoiding the use of animation.

– What importance do you attribute to the Málaga Film Festival?

It’s a very important window to enter into Latin American cinema. We’re very expectant.

– What expectations do you have regarding the screening and how do you think this film will connect with the audience?

My expectations are that the film will be seen and appreciated and that people will connect subjectively, open-eared and without judgement.

– What are your future projects?

In the process of creating this documentary, I informally interviewed many educators from this and other detention centers. Many confided in me about their relationships with their dreams and nightmares, but none permitted me to film them. It’s a very complex situation, there is a lot of violence in these jobs. So, on the basis of those interviews and a posterior investigation, I’m developing a feature-length fiction: “Llamar al diablo por su nombre” (“Calling the Devil by His Name”), about the fears of the educators and the transmission of violence between young people and adults — especially between the adults — in this kind of detention center.


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