One of the finest nonfiction filmmakers in the world, Patricio Guzmán is celebrated for poetic and philosophical ruminations on his native Chile, like Nostalgia for the Light (2010) and The Pearl Button (2015). But the octogenarian’s latest takes us back to the first phase in his career, the fervid reportage of The Battle of Chile (1975-1979), his account of the military coup which deposed his friend and comrade, President Allende. If you haven’t been paying close attention to recent events there, My Imaginary Country will come as a welcome surprise. It’s that rare thing, a good news story about a popular uprising of the Left.
Guzmán, who has lived in exile in France for most of his career, admits to surprise himself, tracing the roots of the protests back to—of all things—transit fare hikes in 2019. Cut to just a couple of months later, and over a million people congregate in the capital, Santiago, to demand change. This was a radically expansive movement, suspicious of political parties, and energized overwhelmingly by women. Their fundamental demand: a new constitution. In an ideal world, this stirring tribute to people power would be shown in schools—and everywhere else.
Tuesday October 04
More Films in this Series
My Imaginary Country
Patricio Guzmán is the poet laureate of Chilean cinema and its foremost historian. Here he returns to his early work of frontline reportage, documenting the recent, extraordinary uprising which promises to transform Chile for the better.
A Fire Inside
During Australia's apocalyptic bushfires in 2019-2020, volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line to save their communities. A clarion call about climate change and an ode to the camaraderie of strangers standing together in the midst of a crisis.
The Klabona Keepers
The Klabona Keepers is a fierce account of the Tahltan Nation's struggle to protect the Klabona Sacred Headwaters from commercial mining. Interspersing verité cinematography with interviews, the film documents the tactics used by the land defenders.
All That Breathes
Two brothers are determined to nurse back to health New Delhi's ailing black kites—the megacity's ubiquitous birds of prey. Striving to keep their wildlife rescue clinic afloat, political tensions loom over their neighbourhood as ominously as the smog.
Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limits
One of the best rock climbers in the world, Adam Ondra prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. An intimate portrait of devotion and dedication to the art of climbing alongside the mental and physical toll it takes along the path to greatness.
Good Night Oppy
Sent on a mission to Mars with a life expectancy of 90 days, the exploration rover Opportunity instead lived for 15 years. With incredible interviews and awe-inspiring re-creations, this documentary doubles as an open-hearted, intergalactic underdog tale.
The Killing of a Journalist
Matt Sarnecki explores the murder of a Slovak reporter in a documentary that grips like a true page-turner: among the story ingredients are gangsters, crooked cops, blackmail, hidden thumb drives, and assassination plots via emoji-laced text messages.
Love Will Come Later
Like many young Moroccans, Samir considers marrying a foreigner the key to a better life in Europe—but his family would rather arrange a marriage for him with a Moroccan woman. When he falls in love with a tourist, he weighs a life-changing decision.
1341 Frames of Love and War
Ran Tal's sobering film captures over 50 years of Israeli history through the lens of photojournalist Micha Bar-Am, providing a deep focus on the beauty and horror of humanity as chronicled through his camera.
Miranda y Tobar
Patricio Guzmán was born in Santiago, Chile and studied cinema in Madrid. From 1972 to 1979, he directed The Battle of Chile, a five-hour trilogy about Salvador Allende’s government and its fall to General Pinochet in a deadly military coup. After Pinochet took power, Guzmán was arrested and in 1973, he left Chile and moved to Europe. Guzmán founded the International Documentary Festival in Santiago, Chile (FIDOCS) in 1997. The Cordillera of Dreams (2019) closed a trilogy which began with Nostalgia for the Light (2010) and The Pearl Button (2015).
Filmography: Nostalgia For The Light (2010); My Jules Verne (2005); The Pearl Button (2015); The Cordillera Of Dreams (2019)