Ilona Arrives with the Rain (Ilona llega con la lluvia)

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Three worldly rogues with hopes of one day living outside the world’s rules must first battle the forces of destiny in Ilona Arrives with the Rain, Sergio Cabrera’s glorious adaptation of Alvaro Mutis’s classic novel. As the trio draw near to realizing their dreams of sailing the oceans in freedom, conspiracy and betrayal foil them at every step.

Though Maqroll, Ilona, and Abdul all come from different backgrounds have a common fantasy: to buy a tramp steamer and sail the world. Stranded in Panama, Maqroll finds little but disaster and desperation—until the tropical rains come, bringing Ilona, his friend, lover, and partner in crime. Meanwhile, in Morocco, Abdul has found the ship the three have been searching for, but it involves him in a complex network of duplicity. Determined to help Abdul, Ilona dreams up Villa Rosa, a truly exceptional brothel where the girls act out fantasies as airline hostesses. As the profits come rolling in, it seems the three will soon be able to buy their steamer—and their freedom. Fate, however, still has a twist in store for them in the person of Larissa, a mad young woman who comes into their lives.

— Ramiro Puerta, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

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