Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

The Dragon Defense
(La Defensa del Dragón)


Year: 2017
Run Time: 85 minutes

The Dragon Defense
The Dragon Defense
The Dragon Defense
The Dragon Defense

Named after a slick chess move, THE DRAGON DEFENSE follows the quirky lives of three friends, each grappling with the unsettling reality of growing old. Samuel is obsessed with chess. He’s a professional player and former college professor, who now spends his time tutoring, betting on matches, and tirelessly attempting to train a young protégé. Joaquin works as a watchmaker, an occupation that is slowly dying. He’s struggling to keep his business alive, sleeping on a couch in his shop, and somewhat comically trying to avoid the landlord. Lastly, there’s Marcos, a holistic medicine doctor whose practice is losing patients by the day. His coping mechanism: gambling. The friends’ personal lives aren’t stellar either. There are strained relationships with their kids, strange sexual encounters, secret lovers, and the stressful toll from ignoring these glaring issues for so long. But they can’t escape forever. This endearing film is a genuine portrayal of aging, sprinkling humor into its dark, but true-to-life, narrative. (In Spanish with subtitles) —E.F.

CIFF42 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Sunday, April 08, 2018 at 8:50 PM

Monday, April 09, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 3:20 PM

Cinema en Español

ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
International Narrative Competition


Natalia Santa

Natalia Santa was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1977. She studied literature and worked for Algaguara and Taurus publishing companies in Colombia. She began her film career in 2002, screenwriting for a television mini-series.


Ivette Liang, Nicolás Ordóñez, Natalia Santa, Ivan Herrera

Natalia Santa

Nicolás Ordóñez, Ivan Herrera

Juan Soto

Principal Cast
Gonzalo de Sagarminaga, Hernan Mendez, Manuel Navarro, Maia Landaburu, Martha Leal, Laura Osma, Victoria Hernandez

Print Source
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