After escaping from a commune of German religious fanatics, Maria has escaped into the Chilean countryside and stumbles upon a house where two pigs live. Maria moves in and imagines the pigs to be children,naming them Pedro and Ana. The house is an ever-changing structure and Maria, Pedro and Ana take on many forms and appearances. As Maria finds herself stuck in this evolving nightmarish reality, the wolf, who lives in the nearby forest, threatens to keep them all trapped inside.
“The Wolf House is a feature film where beauty, fear, disorder and the narrative itself are born from the precarious and permanent states of change. It is the story of a beautiful young woman who is held captive, but it is also the story of a physical and mental world that falls apart, destroys itself and renews itself time and again.”Director’s statement – Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña
Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s The Wolf House/La casa lobo features mesmerizing stop animation and constantly shifting imagery to illustrate the pain of extreme isolation. The story is based on the sordid history of Colonia Dignidad, a secretive sect of German emigres in Chile who became particularly notorious for child molestation and the torture and murder of prisoners during Augusto Pinochet’s military regime. The main character Maria has escaped from the sect and the house symbolizes a sort of in-between space where she sheds her old life and prepares to re-enter society. The wolf is that society, which is perceived as a threat but in reality is not. Much like the actual wolf which has been hurt over the centuries by unshakable falsehoods. The film is narrated by a male voice from the sect that haunts Maria’s existence. The story also draws from the classic children’s fable The Three Little Pigs.
Chilean filmmakers León and Cociña’s feature film debut is an impressive feat. Produced over several years, it incorporates stop animation with papier mâché puppets made of cardboard, tape and other materials, and paint on the house’s walls and floors. The characters inhabit the house both in three dimensional form and within the walls themselves. It’s quite a marvel to behold. Viewers who enjoy innovative stop animation films and unique storytelling will want to seek out The Wolf House/La casa lobo.
The Wolf House/La casa lobo releases in virtual theaters today. Visit the official website for more information.