The Battle of Chile, Part 1 (1975) The Battle of Chile, Part 2 (1977)

Battle of Chile: Part 2 (1977)
April 29, 2011 - 7:30 pm
In-person: 
Filmmaker Patricio Guzmán.

The Battle of Chile, Part 1: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (La batalla de Chile: La insurrección de la Burguesía) (1975)

Directed by Patricio Guzmán

Patricio Guzmán’s three-part, cinema verite tour de force about the final year of Salvadore Allende’s government opens with footage of bombs from Chilean jets slamming into the presidential palace in Santiago on September 11, 1973. Part One: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie ends, famously, with the final images captured by an Argentine cameraman just moments before he is killed in June, shot by a Chilean soldier. Between these emblematic images of shocking violence, Guzmán documents the rise of the right-wing forces that endorsed them. Initially setting out, with film stock provided by Chris Marker, to record the historic program of economic and social reforms being instituted by Allende, Guzmán and his team of cameramen were on the streets as the country’s moneyed classes mobilized to fight back. As urgent now as it was when it premiered at Cannes in 1973, The Battle of Chile speaks across decades and borders.

Producer: Chris Marker. Screenwriter: Patricio Guzmán. Cinematographer: Jorge Müller. Editor: Pedro Chaskell. Presented in Spanish dialogue with English subtitles. DigiBeta, Black and White, 96 min.

The Battle of Chile, Part 2: The Coup d'Etat (La batalla de Chile: El golpe de estado) (1977)

Directed by Patricio Guzmán

The Battle of Chile, Part Two: The Coup d’Etat zeroes in on the tumultuous events immediately before the overthrow Allende’s government and culminates in the chaos and aftermath of the coup itself. Beginning with the aborted coup attempt in June 1973 that left Argentine cameraman, Leonardo Henrichsen dead, Guzmán then backtracks to expose the CIA-supported efforts of Chile’s right-wing parties to undermine Allende—including the instigation of a nationwide trucking strike and the increasingly brazen actions of the Chilean military against leftist groups—as well the growing fissures in Allende’s own coalition. The eroding confidence, on both sides, that a democratic compromise can be found and the fatalistic acceptance of the inevitability of violence makes Guzmán’s incisive account of a country coming apart at the seams all the more chilling.

Producer: Chris Marker. Screenwriter: Patricio Guzmán. Cinematographer: Jorge Müller. Editor: Pedro Chaskell. Presented in Spanish dialogue with English subtitles. DigiBeta, Black and White, 88 min.