For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
20 Ratings

The Penal Colony

La colonia penal

Directed by Raúl Ruiz
Chile, 1970


A journalist arrives on the Latin American island of Captiva, where a dictatorial President rules capriciously over a society that seems to consist mainly of males in military uniform, speaking a polyglot language.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
The Penal Colony Directed by Raúl Ruiz

Critics reviews

Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes are name-checked, but the teasing, inquisitive disorientation is all Ruiz’s own, beginning with the multi-layered shot of the journalist remembering a dream (“The trees had all fallen and there was music, some kind of party…”) while slumped on a chair, framed between two doors with a sword duel outside reflected on the glass.
July 08, 2013
Read full article
Ruiz displaces Kafka’s central irony of the ‘perfect execution’ into a more complex ironic commentary on Latin America’s strenuous efforts to conform to the stereotypes by which it is commonly represented abroad.
January 01, 1985
Read full article

What are people saying?

Related films