Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Colony (Colonia) 2015

     The time period for this film is the Chilean military coup by Pinochet of 1973 and is based on true events.  Lena is a flight attendant for Lufthansa, she has been seeing Daniel and he’s an activist from Germany.  They are out on the streets at the time of protesting and arrests by the military.  Daniel has a camera and Lena tries to get him to stop taking pictures.  Daniel is detained by the military and Lena doesn’t know where they have taken him?  Daniel has been taken to an underground tunnel and he is tortured for information that he doesn’t know.  Lena joins a charitable mission run by German lay preacher Paul Schafer and she is hoping she will be able to learn what happened to Daniel.  The mission is called Colonia and no one has ever escaped alive from this compound.  The mission is based on some religious tenets, it supports a punitive agrarian lifestyle and is aggressively anti-Communism.
     There is a lot of persecution in this film and Colonia Dignidad was a real secret detention camp.  It was founded by German émigrés in the mid 1950’s.  Paul Schafer arrived in the colony in 1961.  Eventually, 300 German and Chilean people resided in the camp and it covered 53 square miles.  The main legal support of the colony was through agriculture.  At times there was a school, a hospital, two airstrips, a restaurant and a power station.  The compound also did money laundering and weapon sales to supplement their income.  Investigations uncovered child sexual abuse, confinement and torture of prisoners arrested by Pinochet.  Despite the tenseness and the terrible treatment of people, this film seems to be covered with gauze reflecting everything to be normal and the romance aspect seems to dilute what is happening?  3* This movie is OK)

106 min, Drama directed by Florian Gallenberger with Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nyqvist, Richenda Carey, Vicky Krieps, Jeanne Werner, Julian Ovenden, August Zierner, Martin Wuttke, Nicolas Barsoff.

Note:  Imdb 7.1, 26% critic 61% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 183 reviews,
Special Note:  Filmed in Luxembourg; Berlin and Bavaria, Germany; Buenos Aires, Federal District, Argentina; Chile.  Emma Watson also starred in Regression of 2015, a film about a dangerous cult.  The cult members are given blue pills composed of drugs to make them more calm and compliant.  They could have contained benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety and scopolamine to make people susceptible to suggestion.

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