Cinema Guild has announced the U.S. theatrical release of The Wandering Soap Opera / La telenovela errante, co-directed by the late Chilean master Raúl Ruiz with his widow Valeria Sarmiento. The film which had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival and its U.S. premiere as part of Film Society of Lincoln Center’s retrospective of Ruiz’s work last year, opens at Anthology Film Archives in New York City on Friday, May 17 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.
Restored in partnership with Duke University, 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 a glorious sendup of telenovela conventions. 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.