• SANFIC Santiago Int'l Film Festival

  • Recobrado de Valparaíso Int'l Film Festival

    Honorable Mention
  • Arica Nativa Film Festival

    Best Film - Filmin' Arica/Tacna
  • Aricadoc Int'l Documentary Film Festival

  • Quilpué National Film Festival

  • FECICH Chilean Film Festival

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Spanish with English subtitles

San Miguel is a village built over indigenous tombs and Albertina (78) is its spiritual leader. She is in charge of communicating with the Ño, a deity whose physical form is a rag doll, which the inhabitants worship during carnival week. The old woman organizes the rituals in his honor with the help of her family and neighbors.

With this premise, César Borie captures the attention of everyone in a documentary that seems more like a mystery film. In several interviews, the main character tells the story of her life, full of magic, significant vulnerability, and a speech of empowerment worthy of any woman who knows she is a leader. While Albertina delivers her personal experience with this magical entity, Ño, her daughters, grandchildren, and neighbors tell how it is to live and witness this tradition, and at the same time reflect on their own beliefs and faith in what their beloved matriarch has told them for years.

However, the protagonist’s old age hides the uncertainty of what will happen to these traditions at the moment of her death.


“Always entertaining and interesting, Albertina and the Dead is a welcome cultural contribution, which also stands out for being a production made in remote regions, allowing the rest of the country to get to know these characters and their way of life and their rites and customs, which are most likely practically unknown.” – Joel Poblete Morales, Televitos

“They are ceremonies with alcohol, smoke, songs, dances, processions, meals, burials and disinterments. They are rough lives with beliefs that, from the center of Chile, seem foreign. As of compatriots from another world, from a parallel reality, from and with another time, from another era. And yet, Albertina and the Dead shows a living community, with firm beliefs even though they may seem, in our rationality, superstitions.” – Ezio Mosciatti, Biobio Chile

About the Director
César Borie, an archaeologist by profession, is also a director, screenwriter, and researcher. His projects include the documentaries Party for the Dead (2005) and Alcones (currently in post-production). Albertina and the Dead is his first feature film.
Notes on Film

“Albertina played a key role in establishing and promoting many of these customs in the town of San Miguel, instilling in them her deep faith, respect, and affection. Thus, she forged traditions that dazzle today for their strength but at the same time reveal their great fragility, as their continuity depends on the wisdom, charisma, and authority that Albertina’s figure had in the Azapa Valley.

Albertina’s advanced age and deteriorated state of health imposed urgency on the project of recording her story and her special gaze, in order to rescue a different logic, where the limits between life and death are blurred to reveal the mysteries hidden in our environment and highlight the determining force of our own actions and beliefs.”

– Cesar Borie, director