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Original title
Running time
96 min.
Argentina Argentina
Jorge Pellegrini, Carlos Paola (Book: Jorge Pellegrini)
Arnaldo di Pace
Carlos Torlaschi
Drama | Based On A True Story
Synopsis / Plot
Gerónima Sande, a Mapuche woman, lives with her four children in a one-room shack in the nearly deserted town of El Cuy in the wastelands of Patagonia where the wind never stops howling. The oldest son occasionally catches an armadillo for them to eat, and they also live by the graces of the trading post. The film shows the lingering devastation wrought by the Argentine government's Campaña del Desierto of the 1880s, which forced the Mapuches out of their fertile land in the south and into the most inhospitable regions of Patagonia. Watching the film, you can't tell what century it is until a car appears halfway through the movie. One day, the oldest son catches a large bird on a neighbor's property, and the neighbor calls the authorities. When they discover the extreme poverty the family lives in, Geronima is taken to a mental hospital, and the children are also examined. The doctors debate about what to do with the family living "like animals" and interrogate her about her religion and customs to evaluate her sanity. Finally, they decide to release the family, and they go back to their squalor. Slow-moving, bleak, harrowing, the film occasionally brings to mind One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next. Mapuche actress Luisa Calcumil prepared for the role by not showering for six months. Based on a non-fiction book by psychiatrist Jorge Pellegrini.
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