Archive of films Family Life / Vida de familia

2017, 81 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2017

Loner Martín has been given the simple task of housesitting for his successful cousin, who left with his family on a long trip abroad. But then the mysterious environment starts to work its magic and Martín finds himself creating his own virtual family. But isn’t his fabrication, in fact, more real than the fragile illusion of the family nest temporarily vacated by its residents?


A seemingly contented and stable family goes to spend a few months in Paris. The camera then surprisingly lingers in the empty family home in the company of loner Martín, a distant relative who is housesitting in their absence and keeping an eye on the cat. Forty years of age, with no wife, no children or regular employment, Martín had originally intended to use his new base as somewhere to reflect as he tries to come to terms with his father’s death. The empty nest, however, begins to work its magic on the new arrival, awakening in him unimagined and unavoidable desires. He unwittingly starts behaving as if he were no stranger to household routine. When single mother Pachi appears on the scene, on impulse and without fear of the consequences, Martín introduces her to a family set-up entirely of his own creation, while the absent occupants of the house are none the wiser… This highly original romance skilfully toys with the family as an instinctively or, conversely, artificially cohesive unit whose significance becomes mysteriously inverted in the extraordinary setting of an entirely ordinary household.

Jakub Jiřiště

About the director

Alicia Scherson (b. 1974, Santiago, Chile) and Cristián Jiménez (b. 1975, Valdivia, Chile) are highly original players on the current Chilean film scene and both are regular fixtures at prestigious film festivals. The Karlovy Vary fest helped audiences discover Alicia’s talent, presenting its Independent Camera Award for her debut Play (2005). Her unconventional romance Tourists (Turistas, 2009) was included in the main competition at the Rotterdam IFF, and Sundance has also programmed her work. Jiménez’s output has enjoyed huge success – the award-winning poetic romantic comedy Bonsai (2011) was selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, and his penultimate film, the unsettling family drama Voice Over (La Voz en Off, 2014), received its world premiere in the main competition at San Sebastián.


Visit Films
173 Richardson Street, NY 11222, Brooklyn
United States of America
Tel: +1 718 312 8210
Fax: +1 718 362 4865

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Alicia Scherson, Cristián Jiménez
Screenplay: Alejandro Zambra, Alicia Scherson, Cristián Jiménez
Dir. of Photography: Cristián Petit-Laurent
Music: Caroline Chaspoul, Eduardo Henríquez
Editor: Soledad Salfate
Art Director: Jorge Zambrano
Producer: Carlos Olivares, Fernando Bascuñán
Production: Peso Pluma
Cast: Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Blanca Lewin, Cristián Carbajal
Sales: Visit Films

© 2020 Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary: +420 221 411 011 All contacts

HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Passes, tickets, reservationsPasses, tickets, reservations Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days June 30 - July 3Industry Days June 30 - July 3 ContactsContacts
Press accreditationPress accreditation ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide