Chile, Obstinate Memory

Monday, October 19 - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Digital projection

After years of exile in which his landmark The Battle of Chile was banned in his homeland, Guzmán has returned to show Chilean audiences his epic film for the first time, and to explore the terrain of the confiscated (but maybe reawakening) memories of the Chilean people.

CHILE, OBSTINATE MEMORY visits with Chileans who experienced the coup first-hand (some of whom are seen in The Battle of Chile from 25 years ago). Survivors reminisce as they watch that film, recognizing lost comrades and recalling their courage, gaiety and love of life. Those who were not killed during the coup itself were crowded into the National Stadium in Santiago, where many were tortured, disappeared, and never seen again. Survivors talk about the terror that characterized the Pinochet regime until the dictator was finally obliged to relinquish power.

On the streets of Santiago a group of young people are seen marching and singing the Unidad Popular anthem from the time of Allende. Looks of uneasy surprise can be seen on the faces of passers-by. They have not heard this song in almost a quarter century. A quarter century of censorship and self-censorship, buried memories and controlled grief.

In the end it is to students such as these that Guzmán shows The Battle of Chile. The surprising intensity of their reaction reveals an unquenchable thirst for truth about the past. Their confusion is palpable. Through them, the repressed feelings of an entire nation seem to find expression. They are the Chile of tomorrow.

Part of Obstinate Memories: The Films of Patricio Guzmán

  • Country Chile/Canada/France
  • Year 1997
  • Running Time 60 minutes
  • Director Patricio Guzmán