As it makes it's world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival today (as part of the festival’s World Cinema sidebar), the Chilean drama El Pa(de)ciente [Translation: (Im)patient] has officially released it's trailer online with English subtitles for any English-speaking audience members interested in such international cinema.
The film is directed by Constanza Fernández and is based on the memoir of Dr. Miguel Kottow, who just happened to be her father-in-law so a lot of the film is helmed from a very personal perspective for the filmmaker. Kottow was a preeminent Chilean ophthalmologist and renowned expert in the field of bioethics who was diagnosed with the rare and little-understood Guillain-Barré syndrome GBS). It's a condition that damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. It can cause symptoms that last for a few weeks to several years and while most people recover fully, some have permanent nerve damage. Kottow decided to record his experience with the disease and the hospital treatment he received.
Actor Héctor Noguera takes on a fictionalized version of Kottow, who is suddenly hospitalized with GBS and begins to record his experience in the hospital where his position as an expert in the field of bioethics gets him some preferential treatment. However, the dramatic focus of the film is the way Noguera portrays the indignities he undergoes in a hospital and inadequate care that leads to his impatience with the healthcare system as a whole. Ultimately, he discharges himself and the film follows the struggles he endures at home along with the way it burdens his family personally and financially. Check out the official trailer below:
The trailer is an exclusive from Variety that, in addition, had an interview with Fernandez who was unable to attend the world premiere in Korea due to the COVID restrictions of the country. She expressed her regret not attending, saying “I won’t be able to fully enjoy its world premiere and I love this festival.” However, she is very pleased it is part of the World Cinema sidebar, finding the sidebar “everything I want to see this year and that makes me very, very happy."
However, it's uncertain when the film might make it's way to the US although the Rome-based international sales and production company TVCO has picked up international sales rights to the drama. It is actually the first Chilean film funded exclusively by the Cultural Donations Law, being supported by the Chilean Medical Association COLMED, UC Christus, and the University of Chile so it might happen sooner due to that significance.
The film is produced by Roberto Doveris’ Niña Niño Films, Fernandez’s Celosa Prods, and Fundación Pacuar. Stay tuned!