Archive of films The Cleaner / El limpiador

2012, 95 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2013

Elderly Eusebio is working in Lima as a forensic cleaner when the city is suddenly stricken by a deadly yet unknown epidemic. During one of his "sanitizations” he finds an eight-year-old boy whom he takes under his wing. This minimalistic, powerfully shot drama with elements of black humor took the Special Jury Mention at the San Sebastian IFF (New Directors).


Elderly Eusebio is a forensic cleaner whose services are in demand when Lima is suddenly stricken by a deadly yet unknown epidemic – people, especially men, begin dropping dead at an alarming rate. Barely is Eusebio able to eat a meal before being called to sterilize another apartment or street. In one of the buildings, he finds eight-year-old Joaquin whose mother has just died. Although less than thrilled by the prospect, he takes the boy under his wing and invites him to live at his bachelor pad. Their relationship is the film’s focal point but the movie is also a contemplation of and metaphor for the state of civilization as we find it today. This minimalistic, powerfully shot drama with elements of black humor is veiled in cool gray tones, emphasizing the bleak desolation of the abandoned and secluded town. Its coldness contrasts with the warm relationship that gradually develops between Eusebio and Joaquin. The talented director, who also wrote the script, avoids sentimentality, sensitively drawing the viewer into an atmospheric story of two lost souls whose proximity to death reveals life’s meaning.

About the director

Adrián Saba (b. 1988, Madrid) graduated in film in 2010 from Hofstra University in New York with the help of a Fulbright scholarship. His graduation movie, The River, was shown at numerous festivals worldwide. A year later he founded Flamingo Films where he produces his own work. His feature debut The Cleaner had its world premiere in the New Directors competition at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, taking the Special Jury Mention. Saba is currently working on his next picture, and he is also part of Cannes’ Cinefondation Residence program.


Film Republic
Hackney Picturehouse, E8 1HE, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 203 287 9112

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Adrián Saba
Screenplay: Adrián Saba
Dir. of Photography: César Fe
Music: Karin Zielinski
Editor: Justin Beach
Producer: Carolina Denegri
Production: La Gris Films
Cast: Víctor Prada, Adrián Du Bois
Contact: Film Republic


Xavier Henry-Rashid

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