Rarely has the awe-inspiring landscape of Chilean Patagonia, specifically an area nicknamed by locals as “the end of the world,” been so beautifully captured on film. Yet in first-time filmmaker Felipe Gálvez’s harrowing Western THE SETTLERS, the serene vista is the setting for the untold atrocities made against the indigenous Selk’nam people. When a wealthy landowner tasks a disgraced drunk English captain, an American mercenary, and a silent mixed-race Chilean to secure a trade route across the peninsula, Gálvez shrewdly depicts the barbarism of white occupiers in stolen land. The filmmaker eschews classic film archetypes and removes the jingoistic heroism, leaving a hauntingly beautiful, yet sobering, depiction of madness on the frontier. Each powderkeg encounter leads the trio through surprises and reckonings that will have an immense effect on them, and the country, for years to come. THE SETTLERS is an extraordinary debut that will prove itself to be a pioneer in the Western canon for years to come.
CAST: Camilo Arancibia, Mark Stanley, Benjamin Westfall, Alfredo Castro
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