Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance NHK Filmmaker Award


"Montevideo, Uruguay. Jacobo, a 60-year-old man, lives alone since the death of his mother, of whom he took care up to her last day. All he has in life is a humble sock factory about to go out of business.

Marta, 48, Jacobo's right hand, has worked for him for twenty years. She is the most experienced employee, an acting supervisor who also assumes other tasks, such as keeping Jacobo out of trouble. Over the years, they have developed a relationship of mutual dependence. Neither of them could live without the other. Nonetheless, their day-to-day relationship seems cold. Jacobo never talks to Marta about anything other than business matters. She tried to change that for some time but then gave up, resigned.

Herman, 55, is Jacobo's younger brother. He has not been to Montevideo in twenty years. He did not even come for his mother's funeral.

A year after their mother's death the matzeiva is celebrated; a tombstone is placed at her grave. Herman tells Jacobo he is coming for the matzeiva. Jacobo asks Marta to pretend to be his wife during Herman's visit. Herman was always very competitive with his brother, and always won. This time, Jacobo wants at least a tie.

Martha sees Jacobo's request as proof that she is more than just an employee to him. It is, she thinks, the reward for so many tears of fidelity, and a chance to shake Jacobo out of the loneliness he has chosen for so many years.

Marta moves into Jacobo's apartment, where there are stiff signs of his now-deceased mother and her terminal illness. Marta had expected—he is actually what she would like Jacobo to be: cheerful, lively, open. Almost without noticing it, Marta starts flirting with Herman and grows attached to him, which aggravates Jacobo's jealousy.

Herman has come to Montevideo on a guilt trip for not having been at his mother's side when she died. He offers Jacobo money to make up for his own shortcoming. Jacobo needs the money, but he can't accept it. He Just wants his brother to leave. But Herman extends his stay. They rent a car and spend the weekend at the beach, where farce, jealousy and betrayal lead the characters into situations from where there is no return.

""Whisky"" is a story of love, jealousy and betrayal. A bizarre triangle with decadent characters, where the underlying, unspoken reality is much worse than what is said out loud. "

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