The Dragon Defense (La defensa del dragon) | Denver Film Society | Natalia Santa | Colombia

The Dragon Defense

La defensa del dragon

Natalia Santa

SpanishEnglish SubtitlesColombia201780 min


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In a bittersweet debut drama named for a legendary chess move, Colombian writer-director Natalia Santa tells the story of three longtime friends living in Bogotá. Samuel (Gonzalo de Sagarminaga) is an occasional tutor in chess and math. Like his two best friends—pot-smoking, gambling doctor Marcos (Manuel Navarro) and Joaquin (Hernan Mendez), a glum watch repairman living hand-to-mouth in his vintage shop—he is professionally gifted but financially and emotionally hard-up. The trio has long survived in a fog of oblivion, drifting aimlessly through shabby nightspots as their lives deteriorate around them. Then comes a moment of truth—but are they too jaded to acknowledge it?

Santa uses her vintage aesthetic and careful approach to composition to conjure the isolation and monotony of her characters’ existence. While her compassionate script doesn’t shy away from the consequences of poor decision making and dubious motivation, it also leaves room for the possibility that it’s never too late to take a chance on life.

Producer: Ivette Liang | Editor: Juan David Soto Taborda | Cinematographer: Iván Herrera, Nicolas Ordoñez | Screenwriter: Natalia Santa
Cast: Victoria Hernandez, Maia Landaburu, Hernán Méndez, Manuel Navarro, Laura Osma

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