Shot in Holland in roughly a week without a script, On Top of the Whale is as much a delirious, visually stunning satire of imperialism and the social sciences as it is a reflection on Ruiz’s personal exile from his native Chile. Set at the end of the 20th century, the film follows an anthropologist who ventures into the Patagonian wilds with his family to visit a communist millionaire, and to study a strange, dying language. Comparing the film to a dream or nightmare, Ruiz said it deals with “a kind of fear. Maybe not a collective fear, but my personal fear, as someone born in a Latin-American country.” Digitized by the Cinémathèque française, color grading supervised by François Ede.