A Film by Patricio Guzmán
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"Great films rarely arrive as unheralded as The Battle of Chile." –Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
“Not only the best films about Allende and the coup d’etat, but among the best documentary films every made, changing our concepts of political documentary within a framework accessible to the widest audience.” —Time Out Film Guide
On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende’s democratically-elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet's army.
Patricio Guzmán and five colleagues had been filming the political developments in Chile throughout the nine months leading up to that day. The bombing of the Presidential Palace, during which Allende died, would now become the ending for Guzmán’s seminal documentary THE BATTLE OF CHILE, an epic chronicle of that country's open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it.
After its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and winning eight Grand Prize awards at other international festivals, when THE BATTLE OF CHILE came to the United States it was immediately hailed by critics as “Spellbinding”, “Overwhelming”, and as “An epic!”
The Village Voice called it “The major political film of our time,” and the San Francisco Chronicle “A landmark in the presentation of living history on film.”
Long banned in Chile after Pinochet’s coup, only in 1997 could Guzmán return to show THE BATTLE OF CHILE there for the first time. CHILE, OBSTINATE MEMORY (included on the fourth disc here) is the extraordinarily moving record of that homecoming, and a fitting conclusion to a “thrilling documentary double feature,”6 “the unusual opportunity to see one film artist sustain an inquiry into the life of a troubled country over the course of decades.”
Bonus! The 4 Disc Set includes a 16-page booklet including a new introduction to Patricio Guzmán's work by Cecilia Ricciarelli, and Pauline Kael's review of the film. Plus! a 22-minute interview with Patricio Guzmán conducted by Brazlian film critic José Carlos Avellar.