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.


  • 22 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: German, English, Russian
Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez
Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez for DobleRetina Films, Paulina Moya for DobleRetina Films, Iván Nakouzi for Luminaria
Álvaro Anguita
Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies