What They Say:
Ingrid is working in the Chilean Intelligence Directorate (DINA) in 1975. Her relationship with her dog, her body, her fears, and frustrations reveal a grim fracture in her mind and in an entire country.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I warn you now dear readers: The animated short “Bestia (Beast)” is not for the faint of heart. It is dark, disturbing, and contains scenes involving such things as rape, torture, and a very explicit bestiality scene (where there is NO misunderstanding of what is happening). Honestly, I’m wondering if my editor will even let this one be published on his site (my wife and I have a wager on that one). It is a short with such disturbing ideas that people in the audience were audibly and visually disturbed. Some left the theater. My wife whispered to me “is this based on a true story?” Why would she ask me that? Nothing suggested before the short started it was based on a true story, so why ask?
The animation is made with porcelain dolls (which adds to the overall dark look of the film). Why did she think this was based on a true story? I quietly asked her why she asked me this question. Her response was almost too heartbreaking: “Because I don’t want to think someone is out there imagining all this for fun.” That thought made sense. To be sure, when we got home, I did do some research and found out “Bestia” IS, in fact, based on true events!
The woman in the short is Íngrid Olderöck, an infamous torturer during Chile’s Pinochet regime. She was involved in something known as ‘Venda Sexy’ and was nicknamed ‘The Woman with the Dogs’ by people in said operation. What this is exactly I don’t want to discuss here; I sense if I got into details the editor certainly wouldn’t let this be published. You can Google or Bing the terms above just…be prepared (your day is about to get a whole lot worse).
“Bestia” is not a short I enjoyed. The grade below is because I applaud the animation, the atmosphere, and really the courage to shine a light to the rest of the world about a dark and disturbing situation that happened in a quant neighborhood house in Chile. As a fan of animation, it is one more powerful testament that the medium can tell human stories in ways that live-action simply can’t sometimes.
As a human being, the short is a gross reminder of how evil people can be. I’ll give it high marks for how well it’s made and how it doesn’t let us forget this horrible event; the score in no way reflects my enjoyment though (of which the basis would result in a score that went below what I am allowed to dish out).
Streamed By: Vimeo
This film has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.