The Ecuadorian “Octopus Skin” completes the close match in Horizontes Latinos.

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

SAN Sebastian, 23 September (EFE) — Ecuadorian director Ana Cristina Barragán closes this Friday’s hard-fought Horizontes Latinos competition at the 70th San Sebastian Festival with “La piel octopo”, the story of the intense relationship between Iris and Ariel, 17- summer twins living on an island separated from the rest of the world.

Inspired by Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows, Barragan writes about a family that lives in isolation due to the decision of a mother “wounded by the city” and behaves “erratic and violent,” the director explains in an interview. with Efe.

The twins have a very special “hermetic and intimate” relationship in a film about feelings that are also expressed beyond verbal expression. Unlike Yorgos Lanthimos’ Canino, which the director didn’t see until her script was recommended to her, these are teenagers “isolated at large.”

“I am interested in what is not domesticated, what is outside the rules,” explains Barragán (Quito, 1987), who spent a lot of time as a child on the beach in Ecuador, where the film was shot, where his father now lives. , in a natural environment of great beauty.

This is not the case of the boys’ father in Octopus Skin, who decides to return to civilization and is a character who is ashamed of his family.

During the film, fabulous underwater images of octopuses and clams are intertwined, which, according to the director, “an underground world of strange species that simply inhabit it and are a mystery.”

“It is important for me to deal with characters who do not fit into their environment and who undertake quests out of their loneliness,” explains Barragan, whose first feature film Alba (2016), which premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival, was presented. in more than 100 competitions and received more than 30 awards.


La Piel Octopo is the twelfth and final film that premiered in the Horizontes Latinos competition, a selection of feature films of the year not released in Spain, filmed in whole or in part in Latin America, filmed by filmmakers of Hispanic origin, or whose setting or theme – Hispanic communities from all over the world.

The competition was opened by seasoned Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán with a documentary about the revolution that erupted in Chile in 2019 and led to the adoption of a new Constitution that replaced the Pinochet constitution, recently rejected in a referendum.

Also from Chile came 1976, Manuela Martelli’s story of a jaded bourgeois woman (Aline Kuppenheim) who finds herself in the dangerous environment of underground opposition to a dictatorial regime, while making an interesting inner journey.

He also looks at politics and history, in addition to literature, with Cuban Pavel Giroud’s El Caso Padilla, which shows unpublished images of the poet Héberto Padilla’s self-incriminating speech to the writers’ guild after his arrest in 1971.

Colombians Andrés Ramírez Pulido and Fabian Hernández take part respectively with “La Jauría” and “Un varón” in which they delve into the stories of young people marked by violence and poverty. Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prix-winning Hauria takes us to an experimental rehab center in the middle of the jungle, while debut film The Man takes us to the struggle for survival on the streets of Bogotá.

Although they do not live in a criminal environment, they are also teenagers, with emotions and anxieties typical of this stage of life, the protagonists of “Sublime” Argentinean Mariano Biacin, an LGBT story that won the Sebastian Latino Award, which is awarded by a jury composed of members of the Gay Association, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and intersex people of the Basque Country.

For her part, Mexican Natalia Beristain entered the competition with “Ruido”, a cry against impunity, which is known for the story of Giulia, who becomes one of the women who search for the missing as a result of violence, in a drama starring Juliet Egurrola. , the director’s mother.

Juan Pablo González, also Mexican, competes with The Two Seasons, whose protagonist is trying to keep a tequila factory in Jalisco afloat among powerful foreign corporations.

Costa Rican Valentina Morel’s “I Have Electric Dreams” plunges into a teenage love relationship with her abusive father, while “Vicente B.” Cuban Carlos Lechuga depicts santeria as a balm for loneliness Cuban mothers who lost their children either because they left the island or because they burned on it.

Finally, Brazilian Carolina Makovich’s first film, Carbon, was presented, in which a family living next to a factory takes in an Argentine capo played by César Bordon in a story that shows how they go beyond the absurd to escape poverty.

Tomorrow, Saturday, at the final gala concert of the festival in San Sebastian, the winner of the Horizontes award will be announced, receiving 35,000 euros for the director and distributor in Spain.

Marina Esteves Torreblanca

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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