Neruda

Neruda

Director: Pablo Larraín
Running Time: 108 minutes


This film had its final screening at The Nightlight on February 23, 2017.

Chile's 2016 Oscar submission! Pablo Larraín (The Club, No, Tony Manero) weaves an engrossing metafictional fable around the 1948 manhunt for celebrated poet and politician Pablo Neruda, who goes underground when Chile outlaws communism and is pursued by an ambitious police inspector (Gael García Bernal) hoping to make a name for himself by capturing the famous fugitive.

The eventful and unorthodox life of the Nobel Prize–winning poet, politician, committed communist, unapologetic hedonist, and Chilean cultural icon Pablo Neruda provides plentiful territory for cinematic exploration. The poet's early-1950s exile in Procida previously inspired Michael Radford's Il Postino, a fictionalized story about Neruda's relationship with a local postman that left few cinemagoers dry-eyed. Now, Pablo Larraín, Chile's most inventive and provocative contemporary filmmaker, takes a wholly unique approach to his famous countryman's life and work with Neruda, which is set during the poet's sojourn underground in the late 1940s…

Elegant and beguiling, Neruda offers a (fittingly) Nerudian vision of its eponymous protagonist. It's a metafictional fable that blends historical recreation with literary and cinematic fabrication. Pushing the limits of filmic biography, Larraín offers a stimulating and sometimes startling rumination on the split that can exist between the person and the persona, the man and the artist.

~~ Toronto International Film Festival