Ruiz grew up by the sea and lived fascinated with maritime tales. He based one of his richest explorations of the nature of storytelling upon the Chilean myth of the Caleuche ghost ship, combined with elements from European authors such as Joseph Conrad and Isak Dinesen. One night in a Polish dance hall, a drunken sailor tells a violent student his life story, whose stops in places including Valparaíso, Buenaventura, Tampico, and Dakar are linked by three Danish crowns and the looming specter of death. The film culminates Ruiz’s oeuvre up to then, while at the same time looking ahead.
Raúl Ruiz Raúl Ernesto Ruiz Pino (1941-2011) was a Chilean writer, teacher, theater artist, film theorist, and filmmaker who believed with full sincerity that the cinema was a field of limitless possibilities. He sought to discover them over the course of more than 100 films, including works left lost or unfinished that audiences still might someday see.