How far would you go for love? Would you risk your life to save another? Based on true events, COLONIA is a harrowing thriller that follows the attempted escape from one the most bloody and disturbing cults in history.
Florian Gallenberger’s historical thriller, set around the Pinochet coup in 1970s Chile sees Emma Watson’s (Harry Potter, Noah) Lena forced to undertake a dangerous mission when her boyfriend, Daniel (Daniel Brühl, Rush), is abducted by the Chilean secret police in 1973. Lena tracks him down to Colonia Dignidad, an anti-communist sect run by preacher Paul Schäfer played by Michael Nyqvist (Blomkvist in Sweden’s Girl With A Dragon Tattoo trilogy), where they plot an unprecedented escape.
Knowing that the film is based on true events makes it that much more intriguing and upsetting. With gloriously elaborate sets and pristine period costuming, the look of Colonia perfectly sets the tone as the story rolls along. Starting with vibrant colors on the political revolutionaries in Chile and turning dark and monochromatic once we arrive at Colonia Dignidad. The script is comprised of vast research on the part of Director Florian Gallenberger. Perhaps what is most disturbing is the fact that I’ve never heard about this happening. You’d imagine something so awful would be much more in the limelight. This is a small but brilliant window into a terrible point in human history.Emma Watson is simply a more grown up and matured star now. Tackling a role in which a woman rescues her boyfriend is brave and important and not often something we’re treated to these days. Her grace on screen is timeless. Daniel Brühl, who I had the pleasure of meeting during the BURNT press conference last year, is nothing short of incredible. His presence is captivating. His role allows his to stretch his acting chops quite a bit and let me say, they are impressive. Michael Nyqvist is intimidating and frightening as cult leader Paul Schäfer. You can feel the evil emanating off of him at the suggestion of child abuse in one key scene. He a truly scary. Colonia is successful as a love story and a political thriller. The film is now available to view via the streaming platform We Are Colony. You can view extras such as behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew, and production stills. Check out the trailer below.