Friday 24.5. / 8 pm / Dokukino KIC

Socialist Realism /

Chile, 1973/2023, 78'
Director: Raúl Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento · Screenplay: Raúl Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento · Photography: Jorge Müller · Editing: Galut Alarcón · Production: Chamila Rodríguez (Poetastros) · Cast: Jaime Vadell, Nemesio Antúnez, Waldo Rojas, Javier Maldonado, Juan Carlos Moraga, Marcial Edwards

A film feuilleton, a musical comedy, social satire seasoned with extremely dark humor… Ruiz described his unfinished film Socialist Realism as a “political soap opera” about a friendship between a petty bourgeois party official and a working-class lowlife. According to Rúiz, Chilean reality exists in no form other than a telenovela. Its comedy is simultaneously surreal, absurd, and cruel, drawing the viewer into a mysterious Borgesian labyrinth. Envisioned as a provocation and ironic commentary on the debate culture and the image of the coalition Unidad Popular, which brought Salvador Allende to power in 1970, the film was certainly conceived as an agitational contribution to the discussion of “How does revolution enter the topic?” However, in the editing phase (a rough cut of four hours was assembled), the project became a victim of unfortunate historical circumstances – Allende was assassinated, a coup broke out, and the sad period of Pinochet’s dictatorship began. Like many other Chilean activists, artists and intellectuals, Ruiz was forced to leave the country. His widow, frequent collaborator, and award-winning director Valeria Sarmiento found her husband’s material in 2016 and took it into her skilled hands, and before us is her third (re)discovery, following The Wandering Soap Opera (1990/2017) and The Tango of the Widower and its Distorting Mirror (1967/2020).

Awards and festivals:

San Sebastian International Film Festival (2023) – world premiere


Raul Rúiz (1941, Puerto Montt – 2011, Paris). After the coup d’état in Chile, he moved to Paris in 1973. His feature film debut Tres tristes tigres (Three Sad Tigers, 1968) made him a key figure in Latin American political cinema. Even in Parisian exile, he didn’t rest (La vocation suspendue, LHypothèse du tableau volé, La ville des pirates, Le temps retrouvé, Comédie de linnocence).

Valeria Sarmiento was born in 1948 in Valparaíso. She studied philosophy and film at the University of Chile. She regularly collaborated with her husband Raul Rúiz. Her independent projects include films such as Notre mariage (Our Marriage, 1984), Amelia Lópes ONeill (1990), Secretos (Secrets, 2008), and Linhas de Wellington (Lines of Wellington, 2012).