Facets Cinémathèque

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August 18–24, 2017

Chicago Premiere


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Film still: Santoalla Film still: Santoalla
"An engrossingly atmospheric true-crime tale of village strife... quietly absorbing"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"A touching portrait of sunny idealism turned dark and a micro-study in souring rural politics"
"Quiet, immersive... Becker and Mehrer's film is more about place and silence than it is about tension or psychology"
  —Village Voice
"A haunting testament to the perils of living on the edge of society's grid... [the film] suggests a place of incestuous, H.P. Lovecraft-ian secrets as discovered by Werner Herzog's roaming camera"
  —Slant Magazine
3 stars½ "The directing duo show a sensibility for wider rural issues that mourns the loss of more than just one person"
  —Eye for Film
"[The doc is] real, but the suspicion that it might be otherwise is a tribute both to the debuting filmmakers' skills in shaping their story and that story's innate dramatic power"

Looking to live off the land and away from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, progressive Dutch couple Martin and Margot settle in the small Spanish village of Santoalla, a once-thriving town left behind by the 20th century's modernization. As these outsiders begin to challenge centuries of tradition, a bitter conflict arises with the Rodríguez family—Santoalla's sole remaining residents—thereby igniting a decade-long conflict that culminates in Martin's mysterious disappearance. As this once forgotten landscape is thrust into the center of controversy, Margo finds herself searching not only for answers, but also for the strength to persevere. Santoalla is both a riveting true crime documentary and an elegy to a romantic dream.

Directed by Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer, Spain/U.S.A., 2016, 82 mins. In English and Gallegan with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Aug. 18 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Aug. 19 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Aug. 20 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Tues.–Thurs., Aug. 22–24 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation