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The Wolf House Image

The Wolf House

La casa lobo


A secretive German settlement that thrived during Pinochet’s reign of terror in Chile, the real-life Colonia Dignidad hid plenty of unsavoury secrets beneath the guise of a wholesome community. The animated The Wolf House doesn’t tackle the horrors inside the colony head on but uses them as a launching pad for a surrealistic fairytale in which the Brothers Grimm meet David Lynch.

The story follows María, a teen who runs away to avoid impending punishment. With a wolf hot on her heels, the girl finds shelter in a house that changes shape at will. The place seems abandoned, except for some pigs that Maria believes she can mould into children, a decision she soon comes to regret. That the film goes on to suggest the fairytale is a tool created by the higher-ups at Colonia Dignidad to prevent children from escaping adds an extra layer of horror to the proceedings.

Using a combination of 2D and stop-motion animation, Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León’s remarkable, constantly morphing film conjures nightmarish scenarios out of papier-mâché. Despite the unsettling imagery, the compositions are mesmerizing, and the ingenuity on display is a dark delight.

"Fascinating… Entrance[s] and enchant[s]… Reminiscent of an Eraserhead-style Lynchian nightmare turned into sculpture, paintings and stop-motion."—Sarah Ward, Screen

Caligari Film Prize: Best Film, Forum, Berlin 18

Preceded By: Carlotta's Face

Director: Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld / Germany, 2018, 5 min.
Afflicted with a rare condition, Carlotta sees someone different in the mirror each day because she cannot remember peoples faces—even her own.

Canadian premiere
Country of Origin: Chile
Year: 2018
Running Time: 74 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Spanish, German with English subtitles
Related Links: Trailer | Screen Review
Cast: Amalia Kassai, Rainer Krause
Producer: Catalina Vergara, Niles Atallah
Screenwriter: Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña, Alejandra Moffat
Cinematographer: Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León
Art Director: Natalia Geisse, Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña
Production Company: Diluvio
Print Source: Diluvio


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