Saturday, December 19, 2009

Classic Doc

The Battle of Chile (Icarus Films)
ChilePatricio Guzman’s mammoth 1978 documentary has long been unavailable on video in any form, a stunning oversight that’s finally been corrected, considering its brilliance and sheer historic weight. Guzman’s account of the 1973 re-election of Chilean president Salvador Allende, subsequent overthrow of his government by CIA-backed rebels, Allende’s murder, the installing of General Pinochet as dictator (ruling with an iron fist for 17 years) is history unfolding before our very eyes. Guzman evenhandedly shows all sides of the political divide before the election and coup d’état. Even now, in late 2009, The Battle of Chile is devastating, mandatory viewing impossible to forget. The 4-1/2 hour, three-part film is spread over three discs, and a fourth disc includes Guzman’s wrenching 1997 follow-up, Chile: Obstinate Memory, and a new 20-minute Guzman interview.
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