Zeughauskino Berlin

Santa Teresa y otras historias

Published posthumously, Roberto Bolaño's epic novel 2666, about the unsolved murders of women in Mexico, is a breathtaking journey into the dark heart of the modern world. The plot lines of the labyrinthine work, acclaimed by Daniel Kehlmann as a “wild, highly experimental monstrosity”, intersect in the fictional Mexican desert city of Santa Teresa, on the US-Mexican border, based on the real-life Ciudad Juárez. The young Dominican director Nelson de los Santos Arias has created a parallel universe in film, based on a chapter of the novel, to captivate not only readers already familiar with Bolaño's writing. Arias' associative cinematic language draws many formal registers. Abstract shots that appear to have been filmed by a kidnapped hostage with a hidden camera are interspersed with quiet, poetic settings, their meaning unfolding only gradually. Transitions between black and white and colour, between Mexican pop songs and operatic arias, between bleached-out and colour-tinted passages form correspondences to the numerous stylistic changes in Bolaño's work. With its suggestive contrasts, this documentary film noir unfolds a fascinating audiovisual space. In Santa Teresa y otras historias, the overpowering metaphor of the border is countered by a decidedly "South American" aesthetic position. Amidst the opaque web of erotica, threats and violence, a poetic reflection emerges, which orchestrates a chorus of ghostly voices based in Bolaño's multilayered text.


Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias

Nelson Carlo De Los Santos was born in Santo Domingo in 1985. He attended the Iberoamericana University where he received his BFA in Creative Writing and Media Arts. In 2006, he studied cinematography in Buenos Aires, then later in Edinburgh College of Art where he started making experimental work. His film SheSaid HeWalks was awarded a BAFTA for best experimental short film in 2009. His second film, Should We Go Home?, was shown at several film festivals as well as Bienal de São Paulo, and was also selected to be part of the permanent collection at the Film Makers Cooperative in New York. He has his MFA in Film/Video at CalArts. In 2013, his first fictional feature, Cocote was awarded the prestigious Fundación Carolina scriptwriting residency in Madrid and was supported by the World Cinema Fund of the Berlin Film Festival.