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Shot in part on 8mm and 16mm celluloid, which director Niles Atallah buried in his back garden to simulate the degradation and erosion to films from a bygone era, Rey is an experimental portrait of a 19th-century adventurer, who staked a bold claim to rule over Patagonia. Documented facts about French lawyer Orelie-Antoine de Tounens are slim so Atallah's picture employs artistic licence to flesh out its dreamlike version of events, which is peppered with excerpts from archive silent films. De Tounens (Rodrigo Lisboa) travels through Chile with his guide Juan Bautista Rosales (Claudio Riveros), meeting tribes in the Mapuche territory with a view to creating the kingdom of Araucania. Chilean authorities reject de Tounens' claim and send him back to France.