Screen can reveal the first trailer for US-based Iranian director Alireza Khatami’s debut feature Oblivion Verses ahead of its premiere in Venice’s Orrizonti Competition.

The intriguing Chile-set Spanish-language drama revolves around the elderly caretaker of a remote morgue, played by veteran Spanish actor and director Juan Margallo, who embarks on a mission to give a proper burial to the body of a young woman killed during civil protests.

The task will set him on a magical odyssey bringing him into contact with a mystic gravedigger, an old woman searching for her long-lost daughter and a hearse driver tormented by his past.

The tale is inspired by Khatami’s own experiences in his native Iran, which he has transposed to Chile.

Oblivion Verses is inspired by tragic events that are close to my heart. For years I did not have the courage to revisit these memories. It was only after mediating the events through a different language and geography that I could speak of it and understand that historical amnesia prepares the way for violence to be repeated,” he explains.

Oblivion Verses is produced by Paris-based House on Fire with the support of co-producers Endorphine Production, Lemming Film and Quijote Rampante.

Paris-based Urban Distribution International is handling sales.