Hierro (en)

Hierro / Iron
Hierro

Selection: 

Format: 

Feature film

Type: 

Fiction

Country: 

  • Chile

Script writer(s): 

Alejandro Fernandez Almendras

Director: 

Alejandro Fernandez Almendras

Synopsis: 

Mauricio Catalan, 45, is a successful lawyer, a partner at a "boutique" law firm focused on environmental issues. Like any good trial lawyer, Catalan is charismatic, dynamic and with great power of persuasion. His rhetoric is relentless. Also, like any good lawyer, he has often had to defend clients who are on both ends of the environmental arena. Some great legal victories for small communities fighting against big multinational companies have earned him a legendary reputation. But he has also scored big points for big companies trying to take advantage of smaller competitors.

Through an environmental NGO, Catalan is contacted by an indigenous "mapuche" community in the south of Chile, concerned about the recent activity of a large mining company in its territory. The communities in the area are aware of the rich iron deposit that rest on their ancestral lands, and understand that they need someone to defend them against the great business interested in it. They need the best lawyer. After studying the case, Catalan decides that there is an opportunity to pressure the company to reach an agreement that is favorable for the community, and by extension, to himself. Catalan move his contacts and conducts complex judicial maneuvers, while constantly traveling to the area to be in contact with the Mapuche community, to gain their trust, and, eventually, convince them that the best solution is a negotiated one.

In the process he meets the sexy and ruthless attorney for the company, a girl who had been his student in a graduate class at a foreign university and with whom he maintained a fleeting affair. When the situation of social tension escalate up to a point when it starts to be dangerous for him and the community, Catalan decides to settle with the company, only to realize then that he has been only a pawn in a much bigger corporate chess game.
 

Visual concept: 

The general style of art of this film is naturalistic, avoiding yes, as far as possible, the contrasts too sharp and above all the annulment of the importance of each character must be central or leading to an environment that often in terms of colors, action or art elements may become more important or capture the viewer's attention. The art of the film will work well rather "remove" rather than "put", grouping and regrouping of elements already present in the locations.

The narrative is linear with a montage narrative, telling the facts chronologically. Stocks and short dialogues are making known the story at a leisurely pace in the south and agile in the city, mixing luxury and poverty as a contrast. The means of communication between the characters is made simple and short dialogues, in the words of people who play the roles. In addition, non-verbal communication plays an important role.