Grasshopper Film has announced the U.S. theatrical release of Cocote by Nelson Carlo de los Santos, winner of the Best Film Award at the Locarno Film Festival’s Signs of Life competition, a recognition that marks a milestone for Dominican cinema. Also a New Directors/New Films and Toronto Film Festival selection, it opens on Friday, August 3 at the IFC Center in New York City, followed by other cities across the country.
A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, de los Santos Arias’s Cocote follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act—especially for him, an evangelical Christian. But as pressure mounts, he sees few ways out.
Questions of faith, tradition, and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors, and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence.
Starring Vicente Santos, Judith Rodríguez, and Yuberbi de la Rosa, and with nods to the films of Glauber Rocha and the fiction of Roberto Bolaño, Cocote marks the coming of age of Dominican cinema in the international film circuit.