The Battle of Chile: Part I (1975) Poster

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one of the greatest films i have ever seen
patrick parker15 October 2005
there is little i can say to describe how unbelievably affecting i find this film series.

first, the history of these films is pretty interesting. assembled from reams of film taken during the period (including significant bits from chris marker), the majority was shot by a crew that came to chile to document what they anticipated being the first ever democratic transition to socialism. what they ended up producing, of course, was a chronicle of the right-wing military coup that disembowelled salvador allende's government.

this documentary is composed entirely of first hand footage, and as such, it takes us behind the facade, into the halls of power, as it were. and what we discover there is both inspiring and heart-breaking: naive intellectuals working in good faith to solve problems that they don't realize arise by direct design of their parliamentary and military enemies; bright eyed cabinet ministers entreating the population not to raise arms, despite the military's obvious coup prepartions; right-wing generals, loyal to allende's government for no other reason than their own honor, being arrested or tracked down and assassinated by the junta; the final unrepetant speech allende delivers on national radio, a glorious epitaph to a life dedicated to freedom and resistance, delivered as military jets reduce the presidential palace to rubble.

this is a documentary for those who wish to learn or to remember, to reflect on a historical moment when another way seemed possible, when people fought for the things they believed in, and when washington didn't even have to justify overturning a regime (or co-ordinating the coup, as it has now been proved they did in this case).

there are very few films that can achieve anything even approaching the relevance, the poignancy and the vision found here. if you can find these films, i suggest you take the four or five hours, and acquaint yourself with this tragic history telling itself.
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All US citizens should see this film.
dpaterson-124 July 2008
The Battle of Chile is one of the greatest and most anguished of all documentaries. Given the US invasion of Iraq with the use of perfidious conservative lies, smoke, and mirrors, it is instructive that after thirty five years the US CIA, the conservative movement here, and military fellow travelers continue to con the people of our country into the most horrific of militaristic actions -- some spoken about, and some, as documented in The Battle of Chile -- buried with the same lies, smoke, and mirrors. Thus, this film is one all US citizens should see. So keep Netflicks busy because you'll never see it on the TV or a major film screen in this, the free-est of all possible nations.
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left with a sense of history in the making after seeing it
ShimmySnail30 March 2003
Warning: Spoilers
An extremely frank and incisive view into the minds of the Chilean upper class and general atmosphere surrounding the murder of president Allende by general Pinochet. A local TV station interviews supporters and detractors of Allende before his triumphant election victory, and up to his eventual murder during an American backed regime change. One sees the minds of the upper class gracefully migrate, as they swear by nonviolence and democracy before the election, and become apologists for militia killings and arrests once their candidate loses and the military begins to turn against Chile's people. A textbook on the erosion of democracy by the extreme right.
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Exceptionally well constructed and convincing.
MartinHafer13 July 2012
"La Batalla de Chile: La Lucha de un Pueblo Sin Armas" is the first of three documentaries that deal with the illegal ouster of the leftist government of Chile as well as the subsequent murder and persecution of the supporters of this legitimately elected regime. While I ideologically think communism is not the answer to a nation's ills, this film worked to convince me of the rightness of their position--making it an extremely effective documentary. And, while in many ways I am proud to be an American, I realize that the film was correct in its assessment in the US government in this affair--when our nation SHOULD always support self-determination regardless of political orientation. So, whether or not it made me uncomfortable, it was VERY effective. I also was blown away at the ending of the film, as you realize the horrible danger and costs involved in making the film. The bottom line is that the film is exceptionally well made, challenging and compelling. See this one.
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