The Visit and a Secret Garden

  • Film
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Sun, January 07, 2024
  • 2:00 pm — 3:15 pm
The Visit and a Secret Garden

Director Irene M. Borrego presents her award-winning portrait of forgotten Spanish painter Isabel Santaló at the National Gallery of Art, followed by a post-screening discussion.

The Visit and a Secret Garden

  • Directed by Irene M. Borrego, documentary, Spain / Portugal, 2022, 65 minutes.
  • In Spanish and Portuguese with English language subtitles. Watch trailer.
  • Post-screening discussion with director Irene M. Borrego.

Little is known about the mysterious figure of Isabel Santaló, an old artist, today fallen into oblivion. But occasionally some visitors come to her flat. Through them and the voice of Antonio López (Dream of Light, Víctor Erice), the only painter who remembers her, The Visit and A Secret Garden reflects on memory, oblivion, and the creative process while posing the question of what it means to be both an artist and a woman.

Santaló, whose abstract work was well regarded during the 1960s, is also the filmmaker’s aunt. Their strained relationship brings with it an examination of ethical documentary film creation.

The Visit and A Secret Garden is without any doubts viscerally mesmerizing (…) just beautiful, a non-fiction film even full of suspense. Among the magnificent squad of Spanish female directors a new star is born: Irene M. Borrego.

—Carlos Loureda, FilmAnd

The Visit and A Secret Garden —the new and astonishing film by producer and director Irene M. Borrego– is the quintessential definition of what for decades we have referred to as non-fiction cinema: that is using narrative dispositives of fiction cinema to stories deeply rooted in reality.

mdash;Matías G. Rebolledo, La Razón


Venue map

National Gallery of Art - East Building, 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20565


More information

National Gallery of Art


Still fromThe Visit and a Secret Garden, courtesy Les Films de la Résistance



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