The 10 Best Chilean Films of 2014

Contributing Writer; Chile, Santiago de Chile (@jaimegrijalba)

Ah, 2014. It was an interesting and conflicting year for Chilean cinema. While it was one of the years with most Chilean film on Chilean screens, it was also one of the few in which there was little to none repercussion of our films in festivals around the world. With the exception of the Oscar card, To Kill a Man, I don't think there's been much talk of Chilean cinema, as there has been since 2009.

The landscape for 2015 doesn't look good either. It will be the first year since 2009 that there won't be a Chilean film in the lineup of Sundance. The release model in Chile of Chilean films is still faulty and dependent of the money income that they get, and they usually don't get much unless they are broad, insulting comedies with television actors and even worse premises.

There were, still, 10 movies that I can say that are recommended for the viewer, and I say this without a chauvinism or some kind of self-congratulating post, this is honestly the 10 best Chilean films that were released purely in 2014 (carry-overs from 2013 or earlier don't count) in some way or another.

The first five are actually the ones I consider the best of the year, the other five are in alphabetical (in Spanish) order and one could be better than the next, but no one's counting. Enjoy and try to search in your local festivals for these films!

Beaverland (Los castores) Directed by Nicolás Molina and Antonio Luco Premiered at the Valdivia Film Festival 2014

From my review, written a few months ago:

Cue in Beaverland (Los Castores) a film about an ambient crisis: beavers are taking over the Chilean Patagonia, making dams, deviating rivers, destroying millennial trees, making the land unusable for pastures, growing trees or crops. In one moment of the movie, we see the damage that the foreign colony of beavers is doing is bigger than that of man-made dams or even mining operations in the same zone, like three or even five times bigger, depending.

The government of Chile isn't taking into account the risk of what is happening, so a couple of biologists go out of their way to investigate the issue and to do what has to be done with a plague: they have to kill the beavers. With that harsh premise, we can also see that there's already a point of view; the filmmakers want to see that the plague is taken care of, as they side with the biologists and the people around who are being affected by the animals.

But at the same time, the directors don't shy away from any element that would undermine their efforts in any way. We see how the people who are complaining against the beavers are mostly higher class, rich countryside people who only see the loss of profit in the incident. Then, there's the long scene in which they find a dead beaver and dissect it. Or the constant sequences of one of the biologists trying to shoot a group of beavers with a rifle.

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