Movie Review and Trailer for “Colonia”, starring Emma Watson

Many of the films featured at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) feature some of our favorite Harry Potter alumni. One of these films is Colonia, starring Emma Watson, which tells the story of a young couple who find themselves entangled in the Chilean military coup of 1973.

We now have the first trailer for Colonia, which you can view below.

Our review of Colonia from its premiere at TIFF comes courtesy of Laura Nicolucci:

Directed by Florian Gallenberger, Colonia takes place in 1970’s [sic] war-torn Chile. Two foreign lovers, Daniel and Lena (played by Rush’s Daniel Brühl and Harry Potter’s Emma Watson), are thrown into the story when arrested, and Daniel is taken away for creating propaganda posters for the resistance. He is taken to Colonia Dignidad, an agricultural commune run by religious extremist Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The commune is used as a torture and detention centre, and Daniel is brutally tortured upon his arrival. In an attempt to free him, Lena joins the Colony in order to save him. With the strict separation of men and women, Lena spends months living in the camp’s harsh conditions until she finds out that Daniel is still alive and working on a way to escape.

This thriller takes the audience along Lena’s intense struggle to survive and the couple’s even more intense escape from Schäfer. While Lena and Daniel’s love story are not factual, Paul Schäfer and Colonia Dignidad were very much real. I found myself asking a lot of questions as the credits rolled and searching online for more information on the colony and its leader. I felt the film focused more on the love story when it should have been shedding more light on the reasoning of the torture camp’s existence, and while Brühl and Watson are such remarkable actors, they weren’t given enough to work to with to truly shine in their roles.

The audience was certainly engaged during the film, even applauding during Lena’s acts of triumph, but the film could have been so much more than that if the audience knew a bit more about Colonia Dignidad. Colonia sheds light on horrible true events that few know even occurred, but if it were less ‘Hollywood thriller,’ the film would have told a more powerful story.

Colonia was seen as a part of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2015.