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My Imaginary Country





My previous film, The Cordillera of Dreams, ended with a sequence in which I mentioned how my mother had taught me that when I saw a shooting star up in the sky, I could make a wish in my heart of hearts and that this wish would come true. In this final sequence, I said out loud that my wish was for Chile to recuperate its childhood and joy. In October 2019, when my film came out in France, something completely unexpected happened in Chile: a revolution, a social uprising. A million and a half people marched for more democracy, for a more dignified life, better education and a better health system for all. Chile had gotten its memory back. Since Allende, I had never seen such a thing. As in the days of Popular Unity, I heard old songs written by Víctor Jara, Los Prisioneros, and many others. They were now sung by today’s Chileans. I realized that memory had been perfectly passed down and was very much alive. Thousands of citizens marched, shouted and tagged the walls. Ordinary people. Many of them were the parents of students who were marching, retired people, former civil servants, or employees, anonymous persons. There was no leader then, there is no such thing now. We did not see any famous person. The people marched the streets, faced the police and their water cannons. Many people lost an eye. Thousands of them were injured and thirty-two died. But how could it be that a whole people had woken up forty-seven years after Pinochet’s coup in a so-called social outburst, a major rebellion or even a revolution? To me, it was a mystery. So, I looked into that mystery, I filmed its effect on the atmosphere, the air, the emotions and the feelings of my fellow countrymen and women. Fifty years after I directed The Battle of Chile, I was in the streets again, filming what was happening. I was there when the Chilean people voted for a new constitution and obtained an 80% majority in favour of a constituent assembly. I was there when a thirty-five-year-old leftwing new president, Gabriel Boric, was elected with 56% of the votes. An unprecedented event in the history of the country, my imaginary country…

Patricio Guzmàn

Disponible en VOD

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