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Berlin Title ‘The Undergrowth’ Gets Trailer as Director Macu Machín Defends Canary Islands as More Than a ‘Backdrop’: ‘There Is a Whole World in the Islands’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Rafa Sales Ross Guest Contributor Three women live a quiet life amongst the luscious trees of the Canary Islands in the first trailer for Macu Machín’s Berlinale Forum entry “The Undergrowth.” Croatia’s Splitscreen is handling sales on the title.

The title also represents the latest from Tenerife-based El Viaje Films, quickly building as one of the Canary Islands top fiction producers, having co-produced Theo Court’s Chilean Oscar entry “White on White.” It was also recently behind titles such as Venice-selected “They Carry Death” and Locarno prize-winning “Dead Slow Ahead.” Machín’s feature debut is a personal affair, with the filmmaker chronicling the routine of her mother and two aunts as they finally try to settle the distribution of their family inheritance after years of debate.

In the background to the family dispute, nature seeps in, the documentary juxtaposing the lulling rhythms of the island with the eruption of long-held grievances between the sisters.

Speaking with Variety ahead of the Berlin Film Festival premiere of “The Undergrowth,” Machín says the idea for the film first arose two decades ago while she was studying documentary in Buenos Aires, the distance from home leading her to reflect on questions of “identity, belonging, and the dynamics of the place where me and my family came from.” “These women onscreen are my mother and her two sisters,” she continued. “So the conflict of the story, this inability to come to terms with their inheritance, their land and their history, is something that has always been present in my life growing up.

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