Sunday, March 13, 2011
Salvador Allende is the touchstone and always will be, so long as those people live. Likewise for right-leaning Chileans, Augusto Pinochet is the revered model. The latter's overthrow of Allende's democratically elected government (by the American-backed Chilean military) and the 15-year dictatorship that followed, along with the many missing and murdered dissidents, will remain the singular event/time period of all these lives -- no matter that many of Chile's young people today want to cry "Get over it!" There is no getting over it until all those who lived through these decades lave been laid to rest. For Chile, this time frame occupies a place similar to the disappeared in Argentina or, for the elders of Spain, their Civil War.
Spanish writer, teacher and filmmaker Patricio Guzmán (shown at left) has amassed quite a body of work involving the Allende/
Pinochet time period. Obsessed (but in a useful manner) is not too strong a word, I think, to describe his connection to this era. His massive, three-part docu-mentary/history The Battle of Chile, together with Chile, Obstinate Memory and The Pinochet Case are probably his best-known films in this country. (The filmmaker's newest work, the award-winning Nostaligia for the Light, opens this coming Friday at IFC Center in New York. I'll have more to say about it later this week.)
Icarus Films Home Video, is available for sale and rent this Tuesday, March 15. In English, French and Spanish, with English Subtitles, the DVD Bonus Features include a stills gallery by Chilean photographer Patricio Guzmán Campos, featuring 22 photos of Chile in the 1960s and 1970s and a theatrical trailer for Guzmán's latest film, Nostalgia for the Light.