In the mid 19th century, French adventurer Orélie-Antoine de Tounens journeyed to the far reaches of southern Chile, where he was improbably crowned king of Patagonia and is said to have united the native Mapuche. But how much of this fanciful tale was true?
Chilean director Niles Atallah uses this legend as a jumping off point for his own wild ride through the slippery storytelling of cinema, imagining the Frenchman's exploits as an avant-garde adventure film spliced together from multiple film stocks and narrative angles. Puppetry, masks and even historical footage abound, while parts of the film were literally buried for several years - Atallah filmed sequences on 35mm, 16mm and Super-8 in 2011 and then buried them in his back yard, digging them up to observe the effects of time (and memory). The result is a wonderfully surreal experience somewhere between Baron Munchausen and Guy Maddin - a beautiful ode to film and a fascinating fairy tale.