THE PEOPLE'S REVOLT
In October 2019 a new popular movement was born in the streets of Santiago, Chile. Triggered by a fare increase of 30 pesos (around four cents), the movement soon came to embody 30 years of social discontent with a neoliberal model and a constitution imposed in 1980 under Pinochet’s dictatorship. As this new movement continues to grow in different cities of Chile, it is making its way to different social media platforms that have quickly formed a communal network. With a more direct way to share first-hand information coming from every neighborhood, people no longer need to rely on the national press, which is often controlled by wealthy families or the government.
The movement has also been marked by a resurgence of street photography. A profusion of images captured with portable cameras and phones are now part of a collective virtual encyclopedia. History in Chile has never had this much media coverage from so many angles. The paucity of images captured during the 1973 coup forced filmmakers at the time to use poetry in order to portray the missing picture. The long history of poetic documentaries in Chile, led by renowned directors like Patricio Guzmán, Pedro Chaskel (co-founder of the Experimental Cinema Center at the Universidad de Chile in 1957), and Ignacio Agüero, continues to this day with the duo Perut+Oznovikoff and José Luis Torres Leiva, among others. Their films explore different styles that break the conventions of documentary filmmaking, creating hybrid forms that share similarities with the American avant-garde cinema tradition.
New experimental cinema in Chile exposes and criticizes the abuse of power coming from governmental authorities, the police, and the military by borrowing elements of journalistic photography and Chile’s unique documentary culture. However, this time nothing can stop the proliferation of new film and video work in a vertiginous media revolution.
This program – organized on the occasion of the current social uprising in Chile – presents a diverse selection of new experimental work made by Chilean filmmakers living in Chile and abroad. Many of the works included here have never been screened theatrically before.
Guest-curated by Anto Astudillo, who also wrote the description above.