Screening of Patricio Guzmán's La batalla de Chile: La insurrección de la Burguesía (The Battle of Chile, Part I: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie) & La batalla de Chile: El golpe de estado (The Battle of Chile, Part 2: The Coup d’etat) with a special appearance by the acclaimed Chilean director.
In a remarkable 40-year career, Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán has crafted a unique legacy among documentarians: cataloguing the cataclysmic modern events of his country in a body of work not only timely, but timeless. Influenced early on by the non-fiction work of Chris Marker, Frédéric Rossif and Louis Malle, Guzmán began his career in 1971, documenting the sweeping social and economic reforms enacted by Chile’s then-president, Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist head of state. In 1973, Allende’s government was brought down in a bloody coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power and Guzmán was forced to leave Chile for Europe where he completed The Battle of Chile, Parts 1-3 (1975-1979), a searing account of the Allende government’s final year. Guzmán has returned to the events of 1973 and their aftermath several times throughout his career while also expanding his field of inquiry to explore the very natures of cinema, history and memory.
About the Films:
THE BATTLE OF CHILE, PART I: THE INSURRECTION OF THE BOURGEOISIE (La batalla de Chile: La insurrección de la Burguesía) (1975)
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.
96 Minutes | In Spanish with English Subtitles
THE BATTLE OF CHILE, PART 2: THE COUP D’ETAT (La batalla de Chile: El golpe de estado) (1977)
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.
88 Minutes | In Spanish with English Subtitles
Appearing in person, Patricio Guzmán .
Cost: Free to UCLA students with valid ID; General Admission: $10
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