A Promise to the Dead

This documentary was a portrayal of the events leading up to and following the brutal Pinochet coup of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile (1973). This was an incredibly interesting but devastating time with the United States aiding the toppling of an elected government merely because they were socialist. The death toll was incredibly high and often completely senseless.
The promise to those who died is being kept by Ariel Dorfman who was a cultural advisor in the Allende government. He managed to survive with his life and was able to escape to exile in Latin America and then to Europe and the States. He is a famous writer of books and plays and returned to live part of the time in Chile while it was still under the rule of Pinochet.
I find the story of the Chileans to be deeply moving and that sustained me through this film. The audience certainly learns more about it. I can’t help but think it would have been better if the focus wasn’t always on Dorfman. He is very much a larger-than-life human being and, although I admire him, he steals a lot of the spotlight from the story he’s trying to tell.
Recommended for those interested in Chile at the time.

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About tgrignon

I came I saw I rented the DVD
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