After being forced into exile following Pinochet’s 1973 seizure of power and the ascendancy of the military junta, Patricio Guzmán returns to his home country to bear witness to the mass protests of 2019-2021: “One-and-a-half million people demonstrated in the streets of Santiago for greater democracy, a more dignified life, better education, a better health system and a new Constitution. Chile had recovered its memory. The event I had been waiting for since my student struggles in 1973 had finally materialized.” While in formal terms, this is more of a standard, reportage-based documentary than any of his recent essays, it is also the rarest of projects: one in which a venerated member of an older generation of political activists communicates a fervent admiration for his younger counterparts and a deep, grateful optimism for the future they are building.
Best Documentary Jerusalem
Patricio Guzmán (1941, Santiago) studied at the Official School of Cinematographic Art in Madrid. His documentaries screened at many festivals and received international recognition. Between 1972 and 1979, he directed The Battle of Chile, a five-hour trilogy about Salvador Allende’s period of government and its fall. This film is the foundation of his cinema. After Pinochet’s coup d’état, he left Chile and moved to France, but remained very attached to his country and its history. He presides over the International Documentary Festival in Santiago de Chile (FIDOCS), which he created in 1997.