The concept of the innocence of childhood has troubled countless men down through history, often manifesting itself in sinister and dangerous ways. While the advent of the internet has brought the problem into stark relief, the likes of Vladimir Nabokov with his novel Lolita has tried to put this obsession in writing. Even Lewis Carroll’s much-loved creation ‘Alice’ has a rather unsettling backstory, which is one of the influences behind Blanco en Blanco.
Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in Tierra del Fuego, the dangerous and remote southern frontier of the South American continent. Pedro (Alfredo Castro) arrives at the behest of a rich and powerful landowner, Mr. Porter. The middle-aged photographer is employed to take wedding portraits of his child bride, Miss Sara (Esther Vega Pérez Torres). He becomes entranced by her beauty, crossing the line and becoming complicit with the atrocities taking place around him.
Blanco en Blanco is a strangely captivating film which mixes the repressed desires of Pedro with the horrors of the massacres of indigenous peoples which were endemic the region. Théo Court’s film contrasts his misguided obsession over Miss Sara’s purity with the inherent evil of those who carried out such heinous crimes. Set to a breathtaking backdrop and beautifully framed, Blanco en Blanco is an unusual and thoughtful meditation on the human condition.
Blanco en Blanco opens at Cinema Village, NYC and Laemmle’s Monica Film Center, LA on 10 December.