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This latest dispatch from beyond the grave by the late legendary Chilean director Raúl Ruiz (completed, as ever, by his widow, the filmmaker Valeria Sarmiento) takes as its basis an abandoned 1967 effort by Ruiz, begun well before his exile from Chile after Augusto Pinochet’s brutal seizure of power in 1973. Working from the ethereal, surrealistic, Poe-like images that Ruiz left behind, Sarmiento has reconstructed the story her husband had wished to tell: that of a sickly literature professor haunted by the memory of his wife (who has recently committed suicide) and attempting to carry on as normal despite the ever-weakening boundary between his dreams and waking life. The Tango of the Widower is paradoxically both an early Ruiz film and a radically contemporary experiment, at once the birth of a new work and the resurrection of a work that never was.
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