40 days
Argentina, Italy, Switzerland, 2018

Original music : Luciano Zampar Production : Start, Incalcaterra Productions, Elefant Films
French, English, Italian
Best Feature Film Award - Festival dei Popoli 2018

Films from Dei Popoli Festivals Ecology


Danièle Incalcaterra inherited 5000 hectares in the Paraguayan Chaco. He decided not to allow deforestation to industrially produce transgenic soya and meat, and to restore the virgin forest to the Guaraní Nhandeva, its native inhabitants. A nature reserve called Arcadia was created, and thus began the story of an idea or a utopia, and a resistance that has lasted for years, where the state shines for its absence, and where corruption and justice reign.

Tënk's opinion

Written in the form of a letter to his son, Chaco follows the director’s Kafkaesque exploits, tangled in the web of bureaucracy that stifles any attempt at concrete action – his Arcadia, the name given to the land turned into a reserve at the end of his previous film El Impenetrable, is constantly thrown into crisis by external factors such as the ambiguity of the ownership deeds, and the large landowners nearby who try to invade it, as well as internal factors (the indigenous people who want a say in what to do with the land). In this chorus of complications, the author tries to steer the situation towards an acceptable outcome, seeking the “right path”, but the only response he receives is from Pope Francis – deliberately left off camera to underline the fact that life’s only value lies in the persistence of the question. The forest remains the fascinating and luxuriant symbol towards which we can’t help but turn our thoughts, while a tiny, deadly spider is (as the father tells his child) the seed of unbridled capitalism ready to devastate any utopia.

Daniela Persico
Programmer and critic


Daniele Incalcaterra

Daniele Incalcaterra

Fausta Quattrini

Fausta Quattrini

Daniele Incalcaterra was born in Rome in 1954, and now lives in Switzerland while often working in Latin America. He has made several documentaries. After studying engineering in Moscow and Buenos Aires, he became a maths and physics professor whilst simultaneously working as a photographer. In 1984-85, he trained in documentary filmmaking with the Ateliers Varan in Paris, where he founded the production company Voleur. In 1993, he began running documentary workshops at various institutions including the Femis in Paris and in 2000, he became a member and teacher at the Ateliers Varan. With Catalina Villar, he was co-director of the Atelier Varan in Columbia and director of the Ateliers Varan in Portugal in 2004 and 2006. He continues to run workshops in Paris and elsewhere.