A helicopter can be heard overhead announcing an eviction notice to the entire slum district and causing alarm among the more affluent of citizens. Living in a gated community nearby, they are the ones with the most to lose. A promise of the forthcoming chaos is instilled in their subconscious by the power outages that are happening with increasing frequency, by the visible smoke in the sky, and by the penetrating stench of burning garbage filling the air from afar. While dining outside on a hot evening, the lights go out, and the atmosphere of paranoia reaches its zenith. The protagonists can only wish that the source of their dread would finally reveal itself. In his feature-film debut, Benjamín Naishtat uses gaps in his narrative in order to reveal the fragility of the foundation that our sense of security is based on. Sparse dialogue, skillful use of different layers of sound, and numerous allusions provide fuel for this game of the imagination, whose driving force turns out to be our fear of losing what we value most in life.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1986, Banjamín Naishtat later graduated from film school there. From 2009 to 2011, he was a guest at the Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts, where he completed several short films. At the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema in 2011, he was the winner in the Best Short Film category for El juego. The film world was first introduced to History of Fear, Naishtat’s feature-film debut, in the competition section at this year’s Berlinale.
2008 Estamos bien (short)
2010 El juego / The Game (short)
2011 Historia del mal (short)
2014 Historia strachu / Historia del miedo / History of Fear