Cinema Guild has announced the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to The Wandering Soap Opera (La telenovela errante), co-directed by the late Chilean master Raúl Ruiz with his widow Valeria Sarmiento.
The film made its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival and had its U.S. premiere as part of Film Society of Lincoln Center’s retrospective of Ruiz’s work last year. It will open at Anthology Film Archives in New York City on Friday, May 17, at Facets Cinémathèque in Chicago on Friday, May 31, and at Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles on Friday, June 7, before expanding to theaters across the country.
Filmed by Ruiz in 1990 but unfinished until it was completed by his wife and collaborator Valeria Sarmiento in 2017, The Wandering Soap Opera is a dreamily interconnected series of vignettes that spoof on telenovela conventions while reflecting Ruiz 's feelings upon returning to his native Chile after more than 15 years away.
Shot in gorgeous Super-16mm and featuring one zany performance after another from a cast having the time of their lives, The Wandering Soap Opera is glorious sendup of telenovela conventions. And following the end of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, the telenovela was, according to Ruiz, perhaps the best lens through which to understand the economic and political realities of Chile. The film was produced by Poetastros and restored in partnership with Duke University.
“The opportunity to distribute another film by Raúl Ruiz is an unexpected gift and an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said Cinema Guild Director of Distribution Peter Kelly. “The Wandering Soap Opera is free-wheeling and funny, a must-see for cinephiles everywhere.”