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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > Election > Cold War > Overthrow > Communism > Socialism > The Battle Of Chile (1975 - 1978/Icarus Films DVD)

The Battle Of Chile (1975 - 1978/Icarus Films DVD)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B†††† Documentary: B

 

 

Patricio Guzmanís The Battle Of Chile started as a film document of a peaceful election, but ended up capturing the overthrow of democratically elected President Salvador Allende in 1973.The nine-month shoot ultimately led to a three-part work and all three are in this new four DVD set from Icarus Films.In section after section, Guzman and his camera crew show the various events surrounding the changes going on.The people voted for a socialist/communist, but forces in the West (including The United States) had issues with this and backed a bloody coup that landed General Augusto Pinochet in power for a long time.

 

That meat that this film was censored for a very long time and The West saw this as a way to fight The Cold War against communist expansion.However, the film and people on the left who celebrate it see it as a record of a democratic society that should have been left alone to find its own way.Some could argue that The West could have found another way to deal with this, especially with Pinochetís history and history to come.They may have agreed when he nationalized the copper mines, a resource the U.S. was very interested in securing.

 

Either way, you can now judge for yourself.It is a very rich document of a world and moment that we would never see otherwise, the kind one wishes existed more often of such events.Chris Marker backed this release rightly and outside of the politics, this is a remarkable documentary work that any serious filmmaker in the field needs to see.That goes for serious film fans as well, as Guzmanís passion for capturing everything comes through all the way.

 

The letterboxed 1.66 X 1 black and white image can be soft at times, but Video Black is pretty good for the format and there are some nice shots.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age and origins, but is subtitled.Extras include a booklet inside the DVD case with two essays on the film (Pauline Kaelís original review of the film and excerpt of Cecilia Ricciarelliís book on Guzman, while the DVD has a 22-minutes-long interview with Guzman and new update documentary Chile, Obstinate Memory from 1997 that shows the fallout post-Pinochet, running about an hour.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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