Latest Posts

THE SETTLERS Trailer: Chile’s Brutal Past Is Confronted In Its Official Oscar Entry

One of the most striking, haunting debuts of this year is Felipe Gálvez’s The Settlers. The otherworldly western is Chile’s official submission to the 96th Academy Awards. Set around the beginning of the 20th century, it centers on the massacre of the Selk’nam people ordered by a wealthy landowner. It follows a trio of men (a Scottish soldier, an American cowboy, and a half-Indigenous marksman) who are ordered to do his bidding as they ride on horseback through Chile’s plains. It had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival where it picked up the FIPRESCI prize in the Un Certain Regard section. It also screened at NYFF and features one of the best cinematography of the year, shot in Academy ratio. MUBI has just released the official trailer ahead of its release early next year.

In its review from NYFF, HtN wrote “The Settlers takes the form of a John Ford western early on, only for it to unravel into an existential abyss of identity, culpability, and guilt… Stretching over captivating landscapes and an Ennio Morricone-like score, Gálvez takes what we could find in the history books and provides an expertly chilling tale that addresses Chile’s brutal past. As it progresses, the past connects to the present… First-time director Felipe Gálvez pulls it off with this captivating work of defiance that head-on addresses Chile’s dark past with historical context. The cinematography, shot in Academy ratio by Simone D’Arcangelo (The Tale of King Crab), comes across as a Dutch painting that captivatingly captures the wide landscapes and characters’ psychological states… The Settlers is a fierce work of art that will make the past harder to forget.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

At the turn of the 20th century, three horsemen embark on an expedition across the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, tasked with securing a wealthy landowner’s vast property. Accompanying a reckless British lieutenant and an American mercenary is mestizo marksman Segundo, who comes to realize, amidst rising tensions within the group, their true mission is to murderously “remove” the indigenous population.

The Settlers opens in theaters January 12. See the trailer and poster below.

Liked it? Take a second to support Hammer to Nail on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

Post a Comment

Website branding logosWebsite branding logos