Bestia

Horrific animated short film from Chile, which makes more sense if you know who Ingrid Olderock was. Be warned there are some deeply disturbing images in this, all the worse now I know they are based on a true story.

Bestia starts by showing us the mundane life of a pudgy middle-aged woman. She bakes cakes, takes her dog for a walk, frets about her weight, the usual. Until a series of malevolent images begin to impinge on her world. She dreams of beheading her dog, sees faceless figures stalking her, and her stops to a high-gated home become more frequent.

The revolting truth is she is a member of Chile’s secret police, and she is taking her dog every day to a secret holding site to rape the tortured women imprisoned there. As I say, this is based on the real crimes of Ingrid Olderock, also known as The Woman of the Dogs. She was German-Chilean, her family had been Nazi sympathisers way back, and she worked to uphold the conservative military dictatorship of Pinochet.

You’ll be glad to know she was shot, but not as any punishment for her crimes. Like many absolute monsters, she escaped all criminal prosecution. She was shot in the head by a leftist, although she maintained it was a set-up by her own side, after she left the service. And unfortunately the bullet didn’t kill her, she lived right up until 2001.

Throughout Bestia, we see the main character slowly losing her mind. The knife on her kitchen table spins. In place of baked cakes, in her oven she sees a gun. She is haunted by the figures of her victims. It might be the only justice we get.

With no dialogue, Bestia still manages to be a gut punch of a film. Made me sick to my stomach.