Spanish with English subtitles, 2014, 82 minutes, color, Chile/France
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
Jorge is a tranquil, middle-class family man whose neighborhood has become overrun by a fringe class of street thugs. His comparatively fortunate existence makes him the target of their intimidation one night, and a hulking outlaw robs him of his insulin needle. Jorge’s teenage son boldly tries to stand up for his father, which only serves to unleash the bully’s terrorizing reign of threats upon the family. Jorge and his wife, Martha, seek protection from the legal system but are subjected to civic drones and bureaucratic procedure, so they remain vulnerable. As Jorge’s family suffers from fear and humiliating anguish, the situation paints him as a deficient patriarch—until he’s cornered into defending what’s his.
Lines of class and masculinity ignite friction in this rugged thriller, adeptly shot with a discerning eye. Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras elevates raw grit to a new level with a tone that is both elemental and prophetic. Rife with unnerving tension, To Kill a Man is ultimately a surprising exploration of the heavy burden of what it takes to do what the title suggests.
Director: Alejandro Fernández Almendras
Screenwriter: Alejandro Fernández Almendras
Producers: Eduardo Villalobos, Guillaume De Saille
Cinematographer: Inti Briones
Sound: Pablo Pinochet
Editors: Alejandro Fernández Almendras, Soledad Salfate
Principal Cast: Daniel Candia, Daniel Antivilo, Alejandra Yañez, Ariel Mateluna