El patio

  • Elvira Diaz
  • France, Chile
  • 2016
  • 82 min
  • World Premiere
  • Panorama
Three gravediggers lovingly maintain the peaceful cemetery in the center of the Chilean capital of Santiago. For Lelo and Perejil, both elderly, it has become a home away from home; they even grow tomatoes there. At the same time, they carry a dark secret. After the coup in 1973, they had to surreptitiously bury the bodies of thousands of political prisoners. It has always troubled them. During their everyday work – digging and clearing graves, repairing stones, making coffins – they tell their story to the much younger Sergio. His response – a mixture of disgust, anger and disbelief – will echo the thoughts of many who see the film. Thanks to the familiarity and warmth among these three colleagues, the story tells itself. At a few points they are interviewed, but most of the time the camera is a fly on the wall. When the remains of one of the “disappeared” are returned to the family, the camera keeps an appropriate distance. A demonstration calling for justice shows that the past will not allow itself to be buried.


  • 82 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English
Elvira Diaz
Nathalie Combe for Cosmographe Productions
Las Peliculas del Pez
Elvira Diaz
Florence Jacquet

IDFA history

World Premiere

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IDFA history

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