Chilean Cinema of 2017 has been quite a ride. No one expected certain films to be good, and they were, some expected certain films to be masterpieces, and they ended up being among the worst dreck of the year, even taking into account the production that the rest of the world adds up to our continuous travelogue of film watching. Even some films that we never thought we'd see enter the roaster, and there's nothing more enticing than being constantly surprised.
If anything has been certified this year is that independent Chilean cinema is still the safest bet at the moment when it comes to quality, as none of the films supported by big companies and even with international co-productions managed to get big responses from the audience. The most talked about Chilean film of the year, A Fantastic Woman, isn't on my list, but it's heartwarming and it makes me happy that the work of Lelio and Daniela Vega have been discovered abroad. It's my unofficial number 11 Chilean film of the year, so it's not that I dislike it, but that I think that there are 10 better Chilean films this year, which speaks of the high quality level of this year in particular.
So, without much else to add, I leave you with what I think are the 10 best Chilean films of 2017. They are original 2017 films released on festivals or theaters, no 2016 carry-overs or delayed releases. The first 5 are in order of preference, the next 5 are in alphabetical order.
La Telenovela Errante (The Wandering Soap Opera) (Raúl Ruiz & Valeria Sarmiento) Premiered at the Locarno Film Festival
Since I saw the film at the World Premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, not only this film has turned into some sort of "cause" for me, as I put it in every list and I speak about it with everyone I meet, but it's also quickly becoming one of my favorite films of Ruiz and Chilean cinema in a long time, after seeing it 3 times in different circumstances. It's a weird film, it was filmed in 1990 but never edited until last year, when 6 years had passed since Ruiz's death, yet it still manages to be a fresh and innovative film, speaking about us and the moment we live, specially in its relation to our media consumption, TV, and political moment. Nevertheless, it's still one of the funniest comedies that have come out in years, and it's filled to the brim with nods and winks towards the Chilean audience, but I think the humor might be universal enough for all to understand and enjoy.