A film by Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias
2017, 106 minutes
No. 178

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.

Winner, Best Film, Signs of Life, Locarno Film Festival
Winner, Best Latin American Film, Mar del Plata Film Festival
Winner, Special Jury Prize, Istanbul Film Festival
Winner, Best Film, International Film Festival Panama
Official Selection, New Directors / New Films
Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 

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

“De Los Santos Arias’s rapturous, intimate camera is particularly effective in capturing real-life rituals… Brings to life a universe that is at once strange yet pulses with familiar passions.” 
– Ela Bittencourt, Frieze

“Grade: A-. An entirely different kind of revenge thriller.” 
– Bradly Warren, The Playlist

“Astonishingly beautiful. Evoking the restless unpredictability of a late-period Jean-Luc Godard.” 
– Keith Watson, Slant

“Rare is the feature film from the Dominican Republic, for sure, but even rarer is a film like Cocote. Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias’ fascinating opus, made under the dual sign of Glauber Rocha and Roberto Bolaño.” 
– Mark Peranson, Cinema Scope