Epsilon Spires streaming Chilean film 'The Wolf House'

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BRATTLEBORO — Epsilon Spires will present the stop-motion animated film "The Wolf House" (La Casa Lobo), screening online from May 16 through May 30, with a live online discussion with directors Cristobal Leon & Joaquin Cocina at 9 p.m. Thursday, moderated by film critic Carlos Aguilar.

To join the Q and A, go to epsilonspires.org/upcoming-events for reservations.

"The Wolf House" (Chile, 2018) is a nightmarish political fairy tale about collective trauma. It was influenced by the true story of Colonia Dignidad, a cult-like agrarian colony of Germans in Chile controlled by a former Nazi child-abuser, which became a secret detention and torture camp under the rule of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The film follows a young woman named Maria who escapes the colony after being threatened with isolation as punishment for disobedience. She finds her way to an abandoned cottage and adopts two pigs who she turns into her human children using magical honey produced by the supposedly idyllic community.

Maria attempts to create a life on her own, but she is not safe; a wolf is stalking her and she is trapped in the house born of her mind. The horror of her situation is deftly illustrated by the claustrophobic rooms crawling with anxious shivers and shuffling, a portrait of trauma framed within a dark fairy tale. The wolf is not only at the door, but within.

Leon and Cocina have collaborated for over a decade with their unique style of stop-motion animation employing life-size sets and models which continuously evolve, and characters shifting from figures made of masking tape into wall

paintings that glide across the room like a haunting in progress. They spent five years making the 73-minute film, building the set as a series of exhibitions at art galleries and museums from Chile to Amsterdam and shooting their animations in view of the public. It won the Caligari Film Prize at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, as well as several other awards, a testament to both its innovation and raw emotional power.

Rental and streaming tickets are $12 and available at kimstimvirtual.vhx.tv/products/the-wolf-house-at-epsilon-spires.

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