A hybrid Chilean drama that blends fiction with reality and tells of a pyromaniac granny holed up in a sleepy coastal resort after she torches a jeep: the premise for Nona is intriguing. But the third feature from director Camila José Donoso, which stars her own grandmother, Josefina Ramírez, in the central role, is a meandering enigma that frequently asks more of the audience than it delivers.
There are glimpses, amid the degraded found-footage style abstractions and the digital home video accounts of everyday encounters, of something fascinating. Josefina/Nona is a mercurial character, hardened by life under the Pinochet regime and unapologetic in her finely tuned spite. She recalls tyre-burning escapades during the dictatorship, torching piles of rubber just to see what happened when the police arrived. But the film’s fractured, unconventional approach will make it a challenge for all but the most seasoned viewers of experimental cinema.
• Nona: If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them is available on Mubi
Source: The Guardian