[Videolib] LAVA--FeaturedTitles

Tue, 02 Sep 2003 13:02:15 -0500

The Overthrow of Allende
Thirty Years Later
Editor's Note: In 1970, Salvador Allende won the Chilean presidential
elections on the Popular Unity coalition ticket. For three exhilarating
years the country witnessed massive changes, including land reform,
nationalizations of foreign-owned companies, and the empowerment of
workers and peasants. In 1973, the country's brief experiment with
social justice was abruptly ended by a military coup, resulting in a 17-
year dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet.

The tragic events of the period have often been chronicled in film,
most famously by Chilean exile Patricio Guzman, the director of "The
Battle of Chile" and "The Pinochet Case." Yet a recent wave of works
made by younger directors has also provided new perspectives by delving
into little-examined aspects of the historical events and following the
politics of the democratic transition. Three of the documentaries
listed below are new productions that expand our understanding of the
coup and subsequent dictatorship. LAVA also takes the opportunity to
revisit a 1983 documentary on the ICTUS theater group, which used
creative performance to challenge the oppressive atmosphere of the
Pinochet regime.

To order any of these videos, contact us by email at
info@lavavideo.org, by phone 212-243-4804, or by fax 212-243-2007. Our
website, www.latinamericanvideo.org, allows for secure purchases by
credit card.

New Titles

Directed by Carmen Luz Parot
Documentary, 90 minutes, 2001
With English Subtitles

While researching her first documentary on Victor Jara, Carmen Luz
Parot was struck by the superficial media coverage of the National
Stadium, which was used as an improvised detention center in the weeks
following the 1973 coup. Her interest eventually led her to make this
documentary: the first in-depth investigation into the chilling events
that took place in the stadium. During two months, more than twelve
thousand people were detained; the majority of those were tortured, and
several dozen were killed, including the American journalist Charles
Horman. With the testimony of more than 30 survivors and eyewitnesses –
former prisoners, priests, soldiers, journalists, nurses, and
neighbors – this film provides a detailed and moving account of the
experiences of those detained.

“The strength of 'Estadio Nacional' does not lie [simply] in providing
testimony about something so little remembered and discussed... Its
strength lies in showing the most terrible, the most noble, and the
most vulnerable aspects of human nature.” -- Pamela Bienzobas, Mabuse.

*Special Jury Prize, Malaga Film Festival, 2002
*Best Documentary, Human Rights Film and Video Festival, Buenos Aires,
*Special Jury Prize, Santiago Documentary Festival 2001
*Saul Yelin Prize, Havana International Film Festival 2001
Purchase Price: $200.00

Directed by Carmen Luz Parot
Documentary, 100 minutes, 1999
With English Subtitles

This documentary focuses on the life and work of folk singer Victor
Jara, who was murdered in the aftermath of the 1973 coup. In life Jara
was revered for his contribution to the "nueva cancion" movement, a
revival of traditional Latin American music. In death, he became an
inspiration throughout the world for the reestablishment of democracy
in Chile. The film traces Jara's life from his rural childhood to his
final moments in the National Stadium in Santiago. Includes interviews
with contemporaries and newly-discovered television footage of his live
performances. Also included is an interview with his widow, Joan, who
has worked ceaselessly to keep his artistic work alive.
Purchase Price: $200.00

Exhuming the Dead

Directed by Esteban Larrain
Documentary, 84 minutes, 1998
With English Subtitles

In the weeks that followed the September 11, 1973 coup, the military
government began a massive operation to exterminate dissidents.
Community leaders, leftist activists, and even people with no political
affiliations were arrested, tortured, and executed. During the spring
nights of 1973, military trucks drove through Santiago picking up
hundreds of dead bodies; many of them were buried in unmarked graves in
a desolate area known as Patio 29 in Santiago's General Cemetery. This
film documents the horrific events through interviews with victims'
relatives, witnesses to the executions, lawyers, and forensic
anthropologists who exhumed and identified the remains 20 years later.
Purchase Price: $200.00

Performance and Protest

Directed by ICTUS
Documentary, 52 minutes, 1983
With English Subtitles

This documentary presents the daring work of the ICTUS Theater company,
which produced plays and videos under the Pinochet regime that analyzed
how the government instilled fear and self-censorship in the
population. ICTUS’s videos were made to be shown in community settings
with the objective of helping people anesthetized by the Pinochet
regime recover their "forbidden dreams." Interviews with the principals
of the company are interspersed with clips from their plays and video
productions. "The government feels that we do no damage," says one of
the group’s directors. "But with art we have a powerful weapon."
Purchase Price: $99.95

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