Mariana (40) is married to Pedro (45), a workoholic economist. She lacks selfconfidence, always treated like a child by her father and then by her husband. Mariana belongs to a sexist and violent society where Chilean bourgeois women are reduced to the task of raising children and tolerating their husbands. Mariana stars taking horse riding lessons and develops an awkward connection with Juan (70) a former colonel, who becomes her instructor, mentor and accomplice. He enables her to recover her sensuality and the confidence she lacked. One day a journalist appears, searching for the colonel in order to talk to him about the time he was the head of a torture center where hundreds of people died during the Pinochet dictatorship. Mariana’s husband immediately asks her to stop the lessons but she refuses and decides to stay close to the colonel until he goes to prison for life. Smalltalk is a film about a woman, a silent victim of violence, who must learn how to assume it in order to overcome it. The film shows us what it means to live in a hostile and oppressive environment usually disguised as acceptance and comfort, not easy to abandon, since the price of emotional freedom can be so high that it might be unattainable.
This is a more narrative film than my previous El verano de los peces voladores. But as I did in that one, I want to explore atmospheres of tension and anxiety. I want to find external metaphorical images that speak about the inner feeling of the main character. The color palette will be sober and cold; the camera, handheld but stable, close to the characters and their point of view; the art will be sober and realistic to the places were María transits. Regarding sound, it will be closely related to the main character’s perception of her context, muted at some times, really defined at others.