Screening of La telenovela errante (The Itinerant Soap Opera) (Raúl Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento, 2017), proposed by Pablo Gubbins Correa.

One of Raúl Ruiz’s lost tapes, completed by his widow, the filmmaker Valeria Sarmiento. Shot in six days with soap opera actors, it’s a play on the idea that all of Chile was a “soap opera”. Reality is, quite literally, Baudrillard’s idea of the simulacrum. According to Ruiz: “Chileans can sometimes speak without verbs or subjects, so we are unable to know what they are talking about”. “My attitude is that of an ‘outsider’. I tried to show how Chile has become alien to me”. [FILMAFFINITY]

“The film revolves around the TV soap opera. It is structured on the basis of the presumption: Chilean reality doesn’t exist, rather, it’s a set of soap operas. There are four audio-visual provinces and you can sense the war between the different sides. Political and economic problems are dissolved in a fictional jelly divided into late-afternoon episodes. All of Chilean reality is addressed from the perspective of the Soap Opera and this serves as a filter that discloses this reality”. [Raúl Ruiz]

“Chile is clearly a very cheerful country. Perhaps excessively so, very optimistic, perhaps excessively so, completely willing to start crying at any moment. I don’t say this as a criticism, instead it seems to me like a very healthy capacity for adaptation, especially in a country where there’s so much commotion”. [Extract from the song Cartoncito by Diego Lorenzini, in which he uses recordings from an interview with Raúl Ruiz.]

Pablo Gubbins Correa, Chilean artist and architect, resident in Bilbao since October 2022