Lázaro (en)




Niles Atallah


  • Chile


Feature film



Script writer(s): 

Niles Atallah


Elias, a photographer in Santiago, is known for taking pictures of the dead and the terminally ill. He is known as the “photographer of death” and he cannot shake this morbid reputation. A chronic somnabulist, he realizes that during his nightly sleepwalks he has gained a new skill. He can photograph figures from his dreams. In this somnabulist state he communicates with a particular patient in a coma he has photographed. She begs him to kill her and he is driven to this act out of compassion. A mother and her seven year old son, Marta and Julian, live in a small house in Santiago. Julian’s father is away on a trip. One day as Marta and Julian dig in their garden they find a body, it is a partially mummified corpse that has been there for decades. Communication with the traveling father becomes harder and soon they can no longer contact him. The father disappears. The two stories intertwine as the boy Julian starts talking to an imaginary friend that lives in the garden. It seems he can communicate with his lost father and can predict his mother’s dreams.

Visual concept: 

“Lázaro” integrates two parallel stories that are connected in fundamental ways. Both stories deal with a transitional territory between life and death. The characters move among these different dimensions and their lives are transformed in the process. The two stories fuse together over the course of the film, eventually creating one coherent cinematic experience.