The Dread

Martin Benchimol, Pablo Aparo, 67 min, Argentina.

The residents of the Argentine village of El Dorado don’t like doctors. Anything short of a surgical procedure they can take care of themselves. Each of them has his or her own specialities and methods. Some heal from a distance—just send a text message, the patient makes the sign of the cross and it’s taken care of—while others use a special piece of string or incantation. For a toothache, hold a frog against your cheek. There's one man who can heal the dreaded affliction known as espanto, a mortal fear. How does 65-year-old Jorge do this? People prefer to keep it a secret, but those who have undergone his treatment will tell you it’s very effective. Meanwhile, the men won’t let their wives see Jorge for anything. In this drily comic film with a light touch, the villagers tell us their stories, exposing the inaccuracy of their theories and the mystery concealed behind them.