The Intruder (El Prófugo) press conference: “It was an extremely rewarding experience”
As El Prófugo unfolds, Inés (Érica Rivas) confuses dreams with reality and goes through a substantial identity crisis. Early reviews suggest that the film suffers from the same issue, although its mix of genres does come together to create a (mostly) satisfactory whole. Director Natalia Meta and her cast (including one of Almodóvar’s muses, Cecilia Roth – most recently seen in Pain & Glory) spoke to the press shortly before the film’s world premiere in competition at this year’s Berlinale.
The film was adapted from the novel El Mal Menor by C.E. Feiling, who happens to be the boyfriend of one of Meta’s closest friends, and the director said that the result would have been disappointing if she had attempted a straightforward adaptation, instead of a liberal cinematic retelling of the same story. “What really attracted me to this novel was that it was not actually presenting this genre in terms of the good and the bad – that it was actually breaking the mould. And therefore I thought that I could get into this world. It’s really about dreams and wakefulness, it’s about fiction, fact, and truth.”
Rivas discussed how she became attached to the film, saying, “I read the script that Natalia sent to me, and without knowing her, I had the impression that what she was trying to tell about the world right now – the story she was trying to narrate – is a story about how we need to start erasing boundaries. And it’s also important to speak to the fact that, at least in my view, this is linked to a kind of new feminist wave as well – a new feminist wave that is being felt in countries – and in the countries that we come from it is important, in my view, that things are not just set in stone, and that there’s a kind of malleability – something soft in between that is also interesting, that can also be the focus of a story.”
Roth spoke about how the story and film process managed to draw her in: “It was kind of like intruding into a very personal, intimate world that Natalia was offering us, and she was inviting us to follow her into that world, and to jointly try to express what we were trying to narrate with this story. It was wonderful – really an extremely rewarding experience – a very special experience day after day with this wonderful team.”
Photo: © Berlinale
The Intruder (El Prófugo) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2020 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival website here.
Watch the highlights of the The Intruder (El Prófugo) press conference here: