Chileans Pablo Larraín and Guillermo Calderón won the best screenplay award at the Venice Film Festival this month for “El Conde,” a black-and-white horror satire featuring Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006) as a vampire.
The film stars Jaime Waddell as a dictator who hides in a country estate where he reaches 250 years old and flies by night to rip out the hearts of his citizens to feed himself.
Netflix-produced “El Conde” featured Larraine, recognized for biopics of Jackie Kennedy (“Jack”) and Princess Diana (“Spencer”), with an improbable but poignant vision of her country’s recent past.
“There was a whole process to approach (Pinochet) to find the best way. “There has never been a portrait of him before, neither in film nor on television,” Larraine told AFP. “The combination of comedy and satire was probably the only way. “If you avoid satire, you can quickly fall into a kind of sympathy that is unacceptable,” he added.
“No to impunity,” the filmmaker said as he collected an award in Venice, days before the 50th anniversary of Pinochet’s coup against President Salvador Allende. The film appears as a contender for the 2024 Oscars in the Best International Film category, but some are also betting on the Best Picture competition.