Original Title : STEALING RODIN

Year: 2017

Duration : 90 minutes

Countries: Chile, France

Produced by :Maria Paz Gonzales/Maria una vez (Chile)

Co-Producer: Ceresa Films/Adriana Ferrarese

Directed by : Cristobal Valenzuela

International Distribution: Journeyman Pictures


Funded By: Corfo (Chile) and National Cinema Fund of Chile. 

Presented at the "Pitching du réel" of the festival Visions du réel 2016







A cold morning in June 2005, the guards of the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts discovered that the sculpture of Auguste Rodin, the “Torso of Adele”, had been subtracted from the main exhibition room. Because of the mastery in the robbery, detectives’ suspects  pointed to some criminal and organized group specialized in works of art. A worldwide alert was activated. Surprisingly, the piece of art was returned the next day by a young man who claimed that he found it stranded in an area near the museum. Nobody could understand how it got there. After severe interrogations, however, Luis Onfray (21), the young man who was studying art, surprised again the authorities acknowledging that it was him, with no help at all, who had subtracted the sculpture.  An umbrella of criticism covered the young man. He was accused of irretrievably damaging the image of the country in an action that was described as a teenage blunder. The turning of the case continued the next day when, facing the court of justice, the defense attorney indicated that the robbery was not a crime but a performance of art by which Onfray was trying to prove that “the work of art would be more present by not being there”. This was the inflection point for a police case that confronted, for several months, lawyers, artists, theorists and institutions that were forced to discuss about the state of contemporary art.


 Almost ten years after this event, the protagonists revive this artistic-criminal episode through this documentary, which is articulated as an absurd detective story that allows being sarcastic about the sense of Art and the contradictions of the artistic performance. It is a story in which the figure of the young student crosses with the presence of Rodin who was also misunderstood in his time:  he tried, with no success, to erect monuments in Chile, but the local authorities rejected him. This documentary makes a journey from the present to the past, from contemporary to classic, promoting new bridges between the misunderstood world of Art and the spectators.


Un matin de Juin 2005, les gardiens du Musée Chilien des beaux arts, remarquent que le « Torse d’Adèle », la sculpture d ‘Auguste Rodin qui vaut des millions de dollars, n’est plus à son emplacement.

C’est le début de ce qui deviendra le plus grand braquage de l’histoire Chilienne.

En effet, seulement 24 heures après les faits le torse est ramené par un jeune étudiant en art qui déclarera que son acte était une performance artistique.

Ainsi l’histoire de l’un des plus grands artistes mondiaux se croise  avec celle d’un anonyme qui dans ce cas fait surgir de multiples interrogations sur le rôle de l’art. 






Cristobal Valenzuela is director and editor.

Since 2008 he’s written and directed several shorts film  as Los primeros brujos fueron los padres” (2006) and  “Año Nuevo” (2011- Visions du réel 2016 Focus Chile).

He currently works as an editor and screen writer for several TV projects in Chile. 

“Stealing Rodin” is his first long-feature film. 









Santiago International Film Festival SANFIC (Chile). Special Jury Award.


Festival Internacional de Cine de Viña del Mar (Chile). Best latinamerican documentary.


Yamagata International Film Festival (Japan), Special joint screening.


DocsBarcelona Valparaíso International Film Festival (Chile). Distribution Award.


DocBarcelona Jury. Festival de Cine de Rengo (Chile) Best chilean documentary Award.


Palm Spring International Film Festival (USA). Official Selection. TrueStory section.


Fidocs Internacional Film Festival (Chile) Official Selection.


Antofadocs International Film Festival (Chile) Official Selection.


Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival( Grece) - Official Selection


FICG Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara- Special Mention


BAFICI - Official selection 


Cinelatino (Toulouse- France)- Special Mention of the Jury


It's All true - Best Latin American Documentary


Louisiana International Film Festival- New Voices New Visions Prize