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Los Versos del Olvido (2017)

TV-MA | | Drama | 31 May 2018 (Chile)
When the elderly caretaker of a remote morgue discovers the body of a young woman killed during a protest, he embarks on a magical odyssey to give her a proper burial before the militia returns.


Alireza Khatami


Alireza Khatami

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8 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Juan Margallo Juan Margallo ... El Hombre de la Morgue
Tomás del Estal Tomás del Estal ... Sepulturero
Manuel Morón ... El Chofer de la Carroza
Itziar Aizpuru ... La Anciana
Gonzalo Robles Gonzalo Robles ... Administrador
Amparo Noguera ... Funcionario Bienes Raíces
Julio Jung Julio Jung ... Viejo Funcionario
Willy Semler Willy Semler ... Comandante
Luis Dubó Luis Dubó ... Peluquero
Mario Soto Mario Soto ... Hombre Imprenta
Elisa Sepulveda Ruddoff Elisa Sepulveda Ruddoff ... Joven Desconocida
Lucas Bolvarán Lucas Bolvarán ... Joven
Victor Hugo Ogaz Victor Hugo Ogaz ... Chofer de Taxi
Alex Rivera Alex Rivera ... Policía 1
Nicolás de Terán Nicolás de Terán ... Policía 2


When the elderly caretaker of a remote morgue discovers the body of a young woman killed during a protest, he embarks on a magical odyssey to give her a proper burial before the militia returns.

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Plot Keywords:

caretaker | morgue | magic realism | See All (3) »




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France | Germany | Netherlands | Chile



Release Date:

31 May 2018 (Chile) See more »

Also Known As:

Oblivion Verses See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1


Color (DCP)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alireza Khatami's directorial film debut. See more »

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User Reviews

a delightful fairy tale for grownups
2 June 2018 | by sy3360See all my reviews

What a delightful film "Oblivion Verses" is with the perfectly cast Spanish actor Juan Margallo, born in Spain in 1940, who carries the entire film at ease by speaking very little, telling the story mostly by his wonderfully expressive facial expressions.

So the elderly cemetery undertaker can't remember his name, but he remembers pretty much everything else down to photographic details. He now lives a quiet life by attending his little lettuce garden and taking care of an ancient morgue, beautifully filmed somewhere in Chile to create an atmosphere that doesn't quite exist in Europe or America. (The Iranian director Alireza Khatami operates mostly between France and United States.) In fact, the building of the administration office of the cemetery looks like an Aztec monument, which gives a rather futuristic dystopian impression.

The elderly man then somehow gets involved with wrong government officials, taken to a remote place, and gets shot rather early on in the film. This is where you get the idea that this is really a delightful fairy tale in which he would simply walk back home through the night over curious landscapes, blindfolded, his hands still tied in the back. When he finally gets home, he just takes a shower and goes to bed.

When the elderly man gets buried alive into the basement of the morgue where everybody gets mysteriously lost, our protagonist once again simply walks out of it by breaking open what appears to be a coffin in the cemetery in the back of the morgue, taking out 4 or 5 other men with him who seem to have been also lost. When he finally gets home, he then just takes a shower and goes to bed.

Toward the end of the film when the elderly man tries to break into the morgue from which he was forced out, his long lost son appears to help him. You know that he was dead long ago if you were watching the film carefully, because there was a police report a little earlier in the film that bore his name that the elderly man would alter. But the only indication of his dead son's appearance is communicated by Juan Margallo's character by simply dropping his crowbar from incredulity, frozen for a moment, shaken for the first time. No words are spoken, but all somehow feels natural and moving (if you get it), and he leaves the morgue by a hearse without any further interaction with his son, perhaps only being content that he has seen him. But he does look at him once more in the rearview mirror as he leaves, and the mirror curiously turns into black & white.

The elderly man is curiously unconcerned with all this or the unspecified turbulent political situations that have brought in many dead bodies to his ancient morgue. But he does become determined to give a proper burial service to a body of a young woman, and this incidentally is the backbone of this film. But it doesn't really matter, because it's a sort of film that consists of many interesting plots one after another that keep the viewers amazed (if you get most of them). There are also stunningly beautifully shots through out this film that might be missed if you are not careful, and for that matter, all the shots are deliberate and highly calculated with fairly clear messages. There are also humorous scenes where lemons roll down on a street on perfect trajectories, or a cat who comes out from a window and poses at a perfect position right in the middle of the film, all of which just wouldn't happen unless the director has shot dozens of takes looking for perfect compositions. (Or are they computer aided graphics? You can't really tell nowadays, can you?) Then there is the whale that flies in the sky, riding the storm, bringing the rain even into the interior of a post office: I can't quite understand what it was that the elderly man was trying to mail, but the flying whale clearly has an issue with it.

Finally, if you don't quite understand the ending of the film, you might recall the taxi driver who brings a guest to the morgue at the beginning of the film and announces, "It is the end". But then another taxi driver who brings our protagonist to the beach toward the end of the film announces, "This is the beginning." There is also this blind gravedigger who tells a story every time he digs a hole, and his very first story is about a 76 years old man who irons his blue shirt and leaves home to catch the earliest bus next morning... The gravedigger then concludes his story by saying, "It's a great ending for a film."

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