El castillo

The Castle
Justina and her daughter Alexia are trying to maintain the huge house that the former housekeeper has inherited from her boss. But the two Indigenous women do not have the means to pay for the upkeep of the decaying property. The money they get from selling the house’s contents online and its cattle is just a drop in the ocean. Moreover, the former owner’s family visits regularly and insists on continuing to treat Justina and Alexia like servants. Alexia refuses to accept this role any longer; she intends to return to the city to work as a car mechanic and start conquering the world as a racing driver.
The film’s mixture of documentary-style footage and dramatised scenes tinged with horror turns the house into an enchanted castle that refuses to let go of its inhabitants. The patchy mobile phone reception becomes a metaphor for the pair’s marginalisation as they struggle with their circumstances. The insurmountable class barriers that exist in Argentina serve to hold Justina captive in her social class, even after she herself becomes a house and land owner. A dark fairy tale.
by Martín Benchimol
with Justina Olivo, Alexia Caminos Olivo
Argentina / France 2023 Spanish 78’ Colour World premiere


  • Justina Olivo (Justina)
  • Alexia Caminos Olivo (Alexia)


Director Martín Benchimol
Screenplay Martín Benchimol
Cinematography Nico Miranda, Fernando Lorenzale
Editing Ana Remón
Music Jose Manuel Gatica
Sound Design Sofía Straface
Sound Mixing Christophe Vingtrinier
Sound Paula Ramirez
Colour Correction Lucie Bruneteau
Producers Mayra Bottero, Gema Juárez Allen, Clarisa Oliveri
Co-Producers Heidi Fleisher, Julie Paratian
Co-Production Sister Productions Paris

Martín Benchimol

The director, screenwriter and cinematographer was born in Argentina in 1985. His short film A Robust Heart premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. He made La gente del río and El espanto with Pablo Aparo. El castillo is his debut feature film as a solo director.


2012 La gente del río; co-director: Pablo Aparo 2017 El espanto; co-director: Pablo Aparo 2022 A Robust Heart; short film 2023 El castillo (The Castle)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023