Actress Manuela Martelli makes an impressive debut as writer-director with this drama about a bourgeois doctor’s wife who is drawn into sheltering a political agitator during the time of the military junta. Older VIFF patrons may remember Martelli from the audience favourite Machuca (2004), and she has cast one of her costars from that film, Aline Kuppenheim, in the lead here. Carmen is persuaded by her friend, Padre Sanchez (Hugo Medina), to help care for the wounded fugitive — a gesture of Christian charity rather than political solidarity. But it’s a big step, and it leads her down a dangerous path…
Martelli builds her film meticulously on the edge between psychological portrait and thriller, but there’s a sense of impending danger, anxiety and risk running from the very first scene. Kuppenheim is superb as the sheltered, cultivated wife and grandmother who is nevertheless compelled to put everything on the line for a principal as simple as compassion.
It’s a hell of a performance from Küppenheim as the heroine, precisely because she demonstrates how hard it is to be heroic… the creeping approach of danger is anything but a thrill. Martelli’s movie, finely controlled, and tense with the perpetual promise of violence, lasts little more than an hour and a half. Imagine that tension enduring, as it did in Chile, for seventeen years.
Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
Chile ’76 is a sly genre exercise, an example of how political repression can squeeze a domestic melodrama until it takes the shape of a spy thriller.
Teo Bugbee, New York Times
A subtle, bold and thoroughly feminine political thriller.
Marina Ashioti, Little White Lies
Aline Kuppenheim, Nicolás Sepúlveda, Hugo Medina, Alejandro Goic
In Spanish with English subtitles
Friday June 09
Sunday June 11
Monday June 12
Wednesday June 14
Thursday June 15
Friday June 16
Saturday June 17
First Look Fridays: $10 Tickets
Enjoy $10 tickets + complimentary tea & coffee at this film’s first Friday matinee screening.
Indigenous & Community Access
Omar Zúñiga (Cinestación)
Manuela Martelli, Alejandra Moffat
Yarará Rodríguez, A.D.F.