Thursday, December 22, 2016

Colonia - DVD Review

COLONIA (R) Starring Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nyqvist and Vicky Krieps.
Written by Florian Gallenberger & Torsten Wenzel.
Directed by Florian Gallenberger.


I had never heard of Chile's Colonia Dignidad, and about 30 minutes into the movie, I had to pause to see if this was based on a real thing. Sure enough, it was.

Lena (Emma Watson) and Daniel (Daniel Bruhl) are idealists in Chile during Pinochet's military coup of the government. Daniel is captured and taken away to the Colonia Dignidad, a religious-cult prison-camp run by ex-Nazis. Daniel is tortured and questioned and eventually tuned loose into the camp population.

Lena decides to volunteer to join the cult and enter the camp. It's run by Paul "Pius" Shafer (Michael Nyqvist), a cross between Jim Jones and Reinhard Heydrich. The camp's rules are so bizarre, it could only be based on truth. I can see what attracted Watson to the project, unpleasant though most of it is to sit through. I should also mention in reading up on Colonia Dignidad, there is so much more they could have done with it. The cast is willing but the script is weak.

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