The Settlers

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Chile, beginning of the 20th century. A wealthy landowner hires three horsemen to mark out the perimeter of his extensive property and open a route to the Atlantic Ocean across vast Patagonia. The expedition, composed of a young Chilean half-blood, an American mercenary, and led by a reckless British lieutenant, soon turns into a “civilizing” raid. (Cannes Film Festival)


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English Shot in 4:3 format, this austerely staged drama is set in the inhospitable environment of Tierra del Fuego in the historical period of its cruel colonization. The Settlers is minimalist in terms of its imagery and acting, and raw in the brutality of its violence and sexual deviancy. The character of the Scottish lieutenant, with Sam Spruell aptly cast in the role, is the satisfying highlight of the film’s gloomy and depraved spirit. The rousing applause from the Iberophone audience at the festival screening indicated how important such reflection on the darker sides of South American history is for them. All nations must deal with their past to some extent. [San Sebastian International Film Festival] ()

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