Too Late to Die Young | Chicago Reader

Too Late to Die Young

Set shortly after the fall of Chile's dictatorship, this tantalizing art film centers on a 16-year-old girl living on a rural commune with her single father and several other families. Writer-director Dominga Sotomayor moves fluidly between the characters, advancing a ghostly, disembodied perspective that somehow manages to generate a subtly erotic sense of fascination. (Lucrecia Martel's La Ciénaga is a likely point of reference.) The girl's discovery of liberty—in smoking cigarettes, kissing boys, and talking back to her father—suggests an intimate version of what the nation is experiencing as a whole, though Sotomayor's storytelling is too nuanced and oblique to make the connection seem obvious. In fact the film is so commanding in its presentation of social rituals and the natural world that it takes a while for the story to come into focus, yet for all the loping camera movements and narrative digressions, this never feels meandering. In Spanish with subtitles.

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