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The Visitor (El visitante) directed by Martín Boulocq trailer, Tribeca Festival
The Visitor (El visitante) directed by Martín Boulocq

Directed by Bolivian filmmaker Martín Boulocq (The Most Beautiful and My Best Years, Eugenia), The Visitor (El visitante), will have its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival. An introspective look at family relationships, class disparity, and the increasingly-dominant presence of Evangelism in Bolivia, The Visitor will premiere in the International Narrative competition of the festival taking place June 8 – 19 in New York City.

The Visitor tells the story of Humberto (in an impressive performance by newcomer Enrique Aráoz), an ex-convict who makes a modest living by singing at wakes. Humberto’s greatest desire is to rebuild his relationship with his estranged daughter and provide her with a decent life, but the grandparents of the child—wealthy Evangelical pastors—are not willing to give up custody of their only granddaughter. Financially and ideologically bullied into a corner, Humberto is forced to face his own demons while simultaneously fighting a powerful ecclesiastical institution to which he once belonged.

Set in the city of Cochabamba in central Bolivia, an epicenter of historical social struggles between Bolivia’s indigenous population and Spanish colonizers, and elegantly lensed by cinematographer Germán Nocella, The Visitor continues Boulocq’s long-standing directorial interest in exploring themes of filial and parental alienation and the relationship between social conditions and weakened emotional bonds. Boulocq turns to the story of one family in order to explore how the Evangelical church, in Bolivia and elsewhere in Latin America, capitalizes on the suffering of society’s most vulnerable members.

A key figure of contemporary Bolivian cinema, Boulocq’s intention with The Visitor is to once again attempt to make sense of his country’s evolving structures of power, its colonial heritage, and the new forms of ideological dependence guiding Bolivian society.

Positioned alongside two other Bolivian directors that have recently achieved top accolades at some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals – Alejandro Loayza Grisi, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at Sundance for his film Utama, and Natalia López Gallardo, winner of the Berlinale’s Silver Bear Jury Prize for her film Robe of Gems – Boulocq can be recognized as part of a new wave of Bolivian directors making strides internationally and bringing renewed international attention to an under-recognized context, country, and social situation with global implications.

Watch the trailer for The Visitor (El visitante).

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