Movie Review: Chronicles of a Wandering Saint – SXSW 2023 Award Winner Arrives in Theaters

I recall this film from the festival last year – first because of what I watched after more than 30 minutes – and some of the unexpected comedic moments that made me laugh out loud. The filmmaker creates a story that takes the protagonist on an unexpected journey. This movie is one of those films that to provide too much detail will indeed spoil it. There is one head-scratching couple of minutes that I have experienced, only to then laugh along with it after the “introduction” is made. Don’t miss it.

About: In a tiny rural village in Argentina, Rita Lopez, a pious yet insatiably competitive woman, decides that staging a miracle could be her ticket to sainthood. After discovering a lost statue in the back room of her chapel, she convinces her neglected but loving husband to help her orchestrate the grand reveal that will finally anoint her as the most admired woman in town. But before the unveiling, a jarring turn of events illuminates the hidden magic of her world, forcing her to reevaluate everything she once took for granted.

Born in Argentina, Tomás Gómez Bustillo studied Political Science in Buenos Aires and began his career directing commercials and music videos. He received his MFA in Directing from the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. His award-winning shorts have screened at Tribeca, Slamdance, Raindance, and Mar del Plata, among others. His feature film debut, Chronicles of a Wandering Saint, premiered at SXSW 2023, where it received the Adam Yauch Hörnblower Award. It was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards: Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.

Beautifully crafted, playful, and poignant, Chronicles of a Wandering Saint explores love, community, and transcendence that finds reverence in the ordinary. In his feature debut, Buenos Aires-born, AFI-trained director Tomás Gómez Bustillo combines religion, magic, and folklore, along with a luminous performance by Monica Villa (Wild Tales, Waiting For The Hearst, The Holy Girl), to celebrate the absurdity of being human.

Cast: Mónica Villa (Rita), Iair Said (Lucho), Horacio Marassi (Norberto), Silvia Porro (Beba), Nahiel Correa Dornell (Angel), Pablo Moseinco (Father Eduardo), Ana Silvia Mackenzie (Alicia), Dahyana Turkie (Jessica), Hernán Bustamante (Mono), Mauricio Minetti (Quique)

Chronicles of a Wandering Saint opened in NYC at IFC Center and has an extended run, and now in LA on July 5 at Lumiere Cinema and weekend screenings at American Cinematheque (with Opening Weekend Q&As in both cities), as well as in Seattle on July 6 at The Grand Illusion. It will open in SF on July 19 at the Roxie and other major U.S. cities courtesy of Hope Runs High. To follow where else the film will be released this summer, visit

[Narrative Feature | 85 mins. | Argentina/USA | 2023 | In Spanish with English subtitles]

Source: Hope Runs High

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