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A semi-fictional account on the fatidic September 11, 1973, when the military commanded by General Pinochet took over the power from socialist president Salvador Allende, initiating a dictatorship that lasted until 1988 causing the deaths and disappearances of many people. Written by
"Il Pleut Sur Santiago" ("It's Raining on Santiago") recreates the events of the rainy September 11, 1973 when a military coup led by General Pinochet took over Chile ending with the Socialist administration of Salvador Allende, unfavorable to the bourgeoisie and industrials of the country and also to the American politicians who feared the man and his approval among people.
Comes as a surprise how fast this was made two years after the fact, everything was fresh, and even so the picture argues with many controversies that even today are object of debate. It practically gives as certain that Allende was killed by the military even though the official story says it was a suicide; and there's a certain speculation about Pablo Neruda's death as well - his body is to be exhumed this year to clarify on the possibility of him being a victim of the regime that would torture and kill thousands of people until its end in 1988.
Although great in its research and serving as a denounce vehicle against the brutalities of the then current regime, "Il Pleut sur Santiago" doesn't fulfill much as a film, often not causing effect in its humanistic levels, and too concentrated in its political aspects. It looks like a rushed manifest to be sold abroad than it looks like a movie, it lacks of emotional dimensions. It goes as a good history lesson but it's just something too far from the public, loses itself sometimes (I blame the excessive flashbacks in between 1970 when of Allende's victory to back to 1973). Having been made with the potency, quality and impact of a Costa Gavras film - he made a similar piece "Etat de Siege" - I wonder if something would've happened of positive in Chile, if the world would give a wider attention to what was going on in there. Very unlikely but who knows. Waiting for the day when a movie be this powerful, to change political minds.
Overall, I liked it, it was informative, well played and featured a good cast (Maurice Garrel, Bernard Fresson, Annie Girardot, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Andre Dussolier, Bibi Andersson and others) who were all effective in their roles. 7/10
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