Enigma

The female homosexuality in Pinochet's regime


Enigma is Ignacio Juricic Merillán’s political statement, a family drama that denounces Chile’s failure to protect its citizens.

Nancy receives an offer to participate in an episode of a tv show about unsolved mysteries. The episode will tell the story of her daughter Sandra, a young lesbian brutally murdered decades ago. As she decides whether or not to be a part of the show, she confronts her family and their versions of the events that occurred, learning more about the person her daughter was.

This all-female fresco, with a narrative power of the great Latin American literary tradition (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), is freely inspired by the brutal homophobic murder of the Chilean painter and sculptress Monica Briones, that occurred on July 9 in 1984. Initially dismissed as an accident and for a long time without culprit until, several years later, a TV show called Enigma itself took care of it. Since 2015 Chile celebrates the “Día de la Visibilidad Lésbica” on July 9. The denunciation of a homophobic crime is the subtext never directly revealed and yet so present, vivid, in that invitation to the TV show and in all the past that returns. Ignacio Juricic Merillán is adept at sketching atmospheres. His camera creeps into everyday family life, trying every day to transform into normality a tragedy that has marked them forever. Sandra is always among them, in every gesture, word, smell. That aura of the police station in which the television program is invested is the explicit admission of the inability of a system of government, of the institutions to leak the truth and give justice. The price to pay for this strange custody is a high one: all the extreme intimacy of Sandra’s life, of her homosexuality, of the pain of a family must be delivered to the eyes of a community.

Maria Cera

About the Director

Born in 1990, Ignacio Juricic Merillán graduated from Universidad de Chile film school. His short film Locas Perdidas (Lost Queens) won the Second Prize of the Cinéfondation at the 68 Cannes Film Festival, and the Queer Palm for the best LGBT short in the official selection. His first feature film Enigma has been funded by Chilean Culture Council and the Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund also it has been selected in Australab FICValdivia, Rotterdam Lab, SANFIC Lab and Lobo Lab from Mar del Plata. It participated in the work in progress sections at Guadalajara and Toulouse and will have its world premiere at San Sebastian International Film Festival.