A Tale of Love, Madness and Death

  • Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez
  • Chile, Germany
  • 2015
  • 22 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
Carlos, the uncle of director Mijael Bustos, is schizophrenic. Although an adult – middle-aged, in fact – he still lives with his elderly parents, who have always refused to place their son in an institution. Carlos stumbles around the house, babbling angrily as he goes. Most of the time he’s speaking incoherent Spanish (without subtitles), but every once in a while he bursts into a jolly Beatles song. He’s a heavy smoker, and cigarette butts and empty packets are lying all around the house. His addiction caused his mother to have lung problems, and she had no choice but to move in with her daughter. Ever since, Carlos’s father has been shuttling back and forth between his mentally ill son and his wife, whose physical health is rapidly deteriorating. There’s not much talking in this short documentary, as the obviously tragic situation needs little explanation. We see the face of the elderly man many times in close-up, and he seems less angry than defeated. He’s powerless, so he cooks his son’s daily meal of spaghetti and tomato sauce before taking the subway to his wife, coughing on the couch while she watches telenovelas. Sadly, he’s a prisoner caught between the forces of love and duty.

Credits

  • 22 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: German, English, Russian
Director
Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez
Production
Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez for DobleRetina Films, Paulina Moya for DobleRetina Films, Iván Nakouzi for Luminaria
Co-production
Verdolaga
Cinematography
Álvaro Anguita
Editing
Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez

IDFA history

2015
Dutch Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history

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