Q&A with Niles Atallah

Recipient of the Special Jury Prize at Rotterdam, Rey tells the curious story of Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, a French lawyer who attempted to create an independent state for the indigenous peoples of Araucanía (part of present-day Chile) and Patagonia (Argentina) in 1860 and claimed he was its king. Honoring the ambiguous nature of Tounens’s life—it’s unclear if he was a spy, a huckster, an above-average colonial exploiter, or actually summoned by a Mapuche deity—Rey uses a variety of formal techniques and visual styles, including papier-mâché masks, battered 16mm stock, and educational film aesthetics. U.S. Premiere