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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 43-44 October 21 & 28, 2023

Video: The Battle of Chile, The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie | Patricio Guzman

Saturday 21 October 2023


In the spring of 1973, just before the parliamentary elections in Chile, Patricio Guzmán and his crew began to film the political and social events in the country. Given the poor state of the economy, President Salvador Allende’s left-wing government, which had been democratically elected in 1970, was expected to fall. But Allende had the support of a large proportion of the working-class voters, and the predicted victory for the right failed to materialize. From then on, the opposition attempted to destabilize the country and discredit the government, for example by creating a black market for basic provisions and inciting a strike in a copper mine.

In a loose, handheld style, Guzmán documents the events as they unfold. He attends meetings and demonstrations and interviews people in the street, adding his own commentary in voice-over. Gradually the atmosphere becomes more threatening, culminating in the death of a cameraman, shot in the street by a soldier two months before the coup of September 11, 1973.

Director Patricio Guzmán
Production Patricio Guzmán for Atacama Productions, Chris Marker
Co-production ICAIC
Cinematography Jorge Müller Silva
Editing Pedro Chaskel

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