Intacto: a Movie on the Manipulation of Luck

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Intacto posterIntacto is an interesting little thought-experiment movie from 2001 that I want to share a few quick comments on.

The underlying premise of this Spanish production is about people who have the gift (curse?) to be able to use the luck of people around them. If they touch you they can absorb your luck (leaving you possibly very screwed, and likely to have something unfortunate happen to you next). If they take a picture of you, you become their “captive”:  the image in the photo carries your luck with it, and thus they can steal your luck in this way as well (although if the picture is destroyed, presumably the luck then returns to you.)

The movie title reflects the oddness of this talent: in Spanish, the meaning of “intacto” is not only “intact”, of one piece, as in English, but can also mean “untouched.” There is a definite resonance with the nuanced meanings of this title throughout the movie.

The people who manipulate luck in this story don’t initially know they have this ‘gift’ until something radical happens to them: they are the only survivor of a car wreck, say, or the lone survivor of a plane crash, or, in the case of the shadowy mover and shaker behind the scenes, survive a concentration camp during the Holocaust.  They become aware of their unusual degree of luck if they connect the dots on their own, or somehow get indoctrinated into this small, elite circle of people who gamble. These are all luck-manipulators who are gambling that they have more mojo than the others they are betting against. The stakes are high – and in the highest stakes game of all, they are life or death.

Read the full review here.

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