Infiesto: what’s the meaning of the movie title?

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Infiesto is a Spanish movie released on Netflix in 2023. It became immediately one of the most streamed items on the platform, probably because it’s set in the days of the lockdown the world experienced some years earlier. But there is another reason the movie caught the viewers’ attention: the title is highly fascinating, and people wonder what its real meaning is. You will discover it in this article, according to how the director Patxi Amezcua explained it.

You can watch the official trailer for Infiesto here on Youtube.

Infiesto: what’s the meaning of the movie title?

Differently from what people may think, “Infiesto” is not a common word in the Spanish language, and a normal Spanish would have no idea of its meaning. Infiesto is a small town in Asturias, northwestern Spain, the broader area where the movie was shot. However, the film was mainly shot in the areas along the Caudal river, which is more than 20 miles away from the little town of Infiesto. Why choose “Infiesto” as the title of the movie, then?

The director, Patxi Amezcua, explained how he picked it up in this interview with La Nueva España (in Spanish): he discovered the name of that little town while preparing the movie, and he was fascinated by the way it sounded. Apparently, for locals, the word has an appealing sound (maybe because it reminds them of the word “fiesta,” which is Spanish for “party”). The director, though, understood that the rest of the world might find the word ominous, recalling words like “Infierno” (Spanish for hell) or “infested,” which probably has the same etymology coming from the Latin word “infestatio” (and would be a direct reference to the period where the movie is set).

Below you can find the comment made by the director, in English:

“I understand that from the Asturian point of view, the word Infiesto is something delicate. To the rest of the world it seems that Infiesto is a very suggestive word. Netflix loves the title. The same thing happened to me, when I found out that there was a town with that name because I met a person who was from there, I said: how good that sounds. It has strength and references to Hell (“Infierno”)… For a story like this, it worked well. I wanted to do something in those mining locations because I know very well the area around Mieres del Camino [a small town along the Caudal river] for family reasons, in fact my wife is from there, it’s a place I’ve visited for years. I had that doubt, do I keep the title even though I’m going to place the story along the Caudal river (Gijón, Langreo, Aller…)? I tried to build the plot in such a way that the Infiesto element had a place within the story.”

Infiesto is mentioned in the movie as one of the locations involved in the investigation. But, as we understood the directors’ words, the real meaning of choosing the word Infiesto as the title is because of how it sounds: a noun that recalls the word “Hell” to Spanish speakers and the word “infested” to English ones, both with a solid reference to the historical time when the movie is set and the Apocalypse feeling that people had in those days.

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