Archives / 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Halley

Film Still

Director: Sebastian Hofmann

Screenwriters: Julio Chavezmontes, Sebastian Hofmann

Institute History

  • 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Beto, a security guard in a Mexico City gym, quietly observes the healthy bodies of the muscle-bound patrons, which contrast sharply with his own physical deterioration. Afflicted with a strange illness, the scared and ashamed Beto surrenders to his condition and holes up in his apartment, injecting himself with embalming fluid to stem his increasing decay. Beto’s melancholy grows as he realizes—in the words of an affable morgue attendant—that “the diseased become the disease.” Through the friendly advances of the gym’s female owner, Beto dances with the illusory promise of feeling alive again.

Sebastian Hofmann’s increasingly surrealistic feature debut subverts genre conventions and audience expectations, treating its living-dead protagonist with sensitivity and compassion. Hofmann’s camera boldly exposes the grotesque details of Beto’s physical condition while artfully depicting his isolated existence. Captivating lead actor Alberto Trujillo appears to waste away before our eyes, making his fumbling attempts to cling to life all the more haunting.

— H. Z.

Screening Details

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