// Presented as part of May's Reygadas x Larraín Series //
Pablo Larraín / 2010, Venice, BAFICI, Cartagena, Edinburgh, Havana, Göteborg, Karlovy Vary, Lima, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, Nantes, New York, Rotterdam, San Sebastián / 98'
Chile, 1973. Mario is a civil servant at the state morgue, where he transcribes notes dictated by the coroner. He mostly keeps to himself, until he meets Nancy, a neighbor who dances at a local club but is perhaps getting too old for the trade. A brief tryst draws them together, but before long Nancy's activist friends are being ferreted out by the authorities, and Mario's morgue is piling up with leftist dissidents. Government officials override autopsy reports to submit politically expedient causes of death into the official record—as Mario stands by, watching, he embarks on a slow but assured spiral into madness.
Marbled in black humor and with sustained attention to the subtle forms of violence—psychological, political, corporeal—of a military coup that remains largely offscreen, Post Mortem allegorizes through one man's eyes a nation's path from complacency, to complicity, to ruin. Pablo Larraín's third feature premiered at Venice, Rotterdam, San Sebastián, and Cartagena, where it won Best Film.