September 2018
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Director: Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias


2017, Dominican Republic, 106 Minutes, DCP

Program Notes

A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias’ Cocote follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act — especially for him, an Evangelical Christian. But as pressure mounts, he sees few ways out. Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors, and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence.


“A dazzling story of homecoming, grief, and revenge infused with the energy and rituals of the Dominican Republic.” — Violet Lucca, Film Comment

“An entirely different kind of revenge thriller.” — Bradly Warren, The Playlist

“Rapturous… brings to life a universe that is at once strange yet pulses with familiar passions.” — Ela Bittencourt, Frieze

“De Los Santos Arias appears intent on confronting the cinematic language that has been used to articulate a particular tropical tristesse… Such a palpably exploratory means of getting toward an enigma that lives in and through Alberto is the film’s source of vitality. Cocote feels more like a transmission than an exposition, with cinema the medium through which certain spirits speak.” — Jay Kuehner, Cinema Scope


Locarno Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
New Directors/New Films

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