Review of El Tila: fragmentos de un psicópata directed by Alejandro Torres Contreras (Latin American Competition)

by Jaime Grijalba Chile

The main problem one can find in this Chilean film is that it is based on actual events and is thus forced to follow the beat of these famous events through those who have been part of them or have written about them. The director Alejandro Torres Contreras does everything possible to imbue the film with an aura of originality through the use of a point of view that is tied to the inner world of the Chilean rapist and murderer. It is interesting to see how the film’s image gets distorted through the criminal’s account, through how he remembers what he has done, marking the difference between what really happened and what Tila decides to tell.

But even so, I feel that the technical elements used are deficient. It is a film that has an aura of importance, that wants to be one of those crime dramas with an intricate structure of memories and “fragments” – as its title reads- from the criminal’s childhood to his death. And this does not really work because it tries to give the illusion that the mind of the protagonist is disturbed to such a degree that this disorder in the connexion of events of different times and realities turns the film into something absolutely incomprehensible. The film appears to never decide on a sole device to tell the story, borrowing typical situations from international blockbusters such as the writing of a diary, the interview of a journalist who wants to find the “real Tila”, the trial, the recordings of the cell where he was locked up… A mass of elements that make a film that could have been much more interesting a holder of clichés, closer to an episode of Law and Order or CSI than of Zodiac or the like. It is a pity, since this will remain the only film about the story of perhaps one of the most famous criminals in Chile’s recent history.

Mariángela Martínez Restrepo - Talent Press BsAs Coordinator
Clara Picasso -Text translator