History of fear (Historia del miedo)

A police helicopter circles over a gated community on the outskirts of a large city. Something must have happened. The very first shot of this directorial debut conveys the paranoia which shrouds this film about the fears of an increasingly detached social class. Even a hole in the fence represents a life-threatening event. The other side of their self-made barrier marks the beginning of a social netherworld where they are convinced dubious and unpredictable creatures with designs on their wealth are lurking. The camera takes a step back to capture but also to question in grotesque and absurd tableaux this diffuse anxiety and almost primeval fear. When Argentina was rocked by a severe economic crisis several years ago, politicians exploited people’s fears in order to foster a general feeling of insecurity. In his ironic portrait of a constantly fragmenting society, Benjamin Naishtat ponders this development.

Director’s note
History of fear is a film about scared people. In the context of the chaotic summer in the suburbs, the social order reveals itself fragile and about to give in. All the characters appear to have a motive to let instinct drive their decisions. The audience must join the characters in their uncertain drift, walk into the dark with them and project that which lies in the core of fear itself.

World Premiere
Berlin International Film Festival 2014, Competition
Key festivals and awards
Special Jury Prize, Tokyo FILMeX 2014
Best New Narrative Director – Special Jury Mention, Tribeca Film Festival 2014
Critics Special Award, São Paulo International Film Festival 2014
New Director’s Showcase Award, Seattle International Film Festival 2014
Special Mention, Ghent International Film Festival 2014
New Directors Prize, San Francisco International Film Festival 2014
Grand Prize, Jeonju Film Festival 2014
FIPRESCI Prize, T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival 2014

Argentina, 2014
Director: Benjamin Naishtat
Producers: Rei Cine (Argentina), Ecce Films (France), Mutante Cine (Uruguay), vitakuben GmbH (Germany)
German WCF partner: vitakuben GmbH
World sales: Visit Films (USA)

Funded in the WCF Jury meeting in November 2012
Funding amount: 30,000 €