La Telenovela Errante
(The Wandering Soap Opera)    

Raoul Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento

1990-2017, 78’, Chile

The Wandering Soap Opera is a wry, satirical comment on the slippage of Chilean social, economic and political reality into nested fictions couched in a clever deployment of convention, cliché and kitsch. Shot by the great Raúl Ruiz in 1990 and recently completed and assembled by filmmaker Valeria Sarmiento (Ruiz’s longtime collaborator and wife), “the film’s structure is based on the assumption that Chilean reality does not exist, but rather is an ensemble of soap operas…The entire Chilean reality is viewed from the point of view of the soap opera, which acts as a revealing filter”(Raúl Ruiz) Thus a series of interconnected episodes, The Wandering Soap Opera combines the spectre of war with notions of surveillance and spectatorship to comment on how what is real can lead an oppressed society to retreat into absurd fictions. – Andréa Picard