The mountain range of dreams, a macabre dance in the traumas of Pinochet’s dictatorship

Exile from the time of Pinochet, Chilean Patricio Guzmán is the ultimate heir to the great tradition of the lyric documentary. Therefore he is also one of the most original political filmmakers in business today. Proof of this is this trilogy opened by “Nostalgia della luce” and continued by “The memory of water”, three films in which the cosmos and history, politics and nature intertwine their becoming in a cascade of metaphors that merge the generative power of poetry to the hallucinatory precision of the document.

Programmatically entitled “The Cordillera of Dreams”, this last chapter plunges us with a single gesture into the bowels of the Andes and into the bloody wake of the traumas left by the coup and 18 years of military dictatorship. As if between the life of the planet and that of men, the order of the cosmos and the disorder of history, there was a network of occult correspondences that the director probes, questions and resonates. Extracting from the depths of the soil and of his own memory, or from that of witnesses, an indictment against a country that has never really come to terms with its past. Thus this passionate “portrait” of the mountain range that surrounds the capital (“Santiago turns his back on the Cordillera, does not look at it, does not look for it and does not understand it”) investigates a past that is removed but still vibrant, macabre dance, procession of ghosts (the long visit to Pinochet’s abandoned palace), immersion on the other side of the mirror, among images chiseled away from conscience.

And here are the only existing shots of the Santiago stadium used after the coup as a concentration camp; here is Guzmán’s childhood home, a pile of rubble behind an elegant facade; here, in the night, ghost trains plowing through the country loaded with copper, that copper that Allende had nationalized and the neoliberals have taken back their arms. Without forgetting the thousands of hours accumulated in his archive by Pablo Salas, a militant filmmaker who has never stopped filming protests and repressions since 1980, shocking scenes therefore “invisible”, intertwined with the cracks in the granite, the escape of labyrinths hidden in the heart of the Andes, to the jolts of that past that cannot pass. In a continuous short circuit between politics and poetry, geology and autobiography, which shakes, tears, alarms and moves.


Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by

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