A King for the Patagonia - An Underdeveloped Superproduction
In 1971 graphic artist and advertisement professional Juan Fresán set out to make a film about the story of Orélie Antoine de Tounens, the crazy French man who 100 years before had proclaimed himself as ‘King of Patagonia and Araucania’ with his own constitution, currency and ministers. The film was titled `La Nueva Francia´ but was never finished, first for lack of funding, and later because his author had to go into exile. If for many of you this sounds familiar, it’s because in the 1980s Carlos Sorín made ‘A King and His Movie’ inspired by that frustrated shoot where he worked as a cinematographer. In 2004, Fresán contacted Turturro to help him rescue the footage that was preserved. Fresán died that same year, but Turturro decided to follow the trail of that truncated film and recovering unseen material, going back to the original locations, and gathering testimonies to shed light on the two tales –one inside the other– that make up this true story, one that’s stranger and more fascinating than any fiction.