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.