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Chile, the Obstinate Memory (1997)
"Chile, la memoria obstinada" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 175 users  
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After decades of fascist rule in Chile, Patricio Guzman returns to his country to screen his documentary, Battle of Chile, which until the time of the filming was banned by authorities. His... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Patricio Guzmán ...
Narrator (voice)
Vincent Davy ...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hortensia Allende ...
Herself (widow of Salvador Allende) (as Hortensia Bussi)
José Balmes ...
Himself (painter)
Carlos Flores del Pino ...
Himself (film-maker) (as Carlos Flores)
Ernesto Malbran ...
Himself (professor)
Rodolfo Müller ...
Himself (father of Jorge Muller Silva)
Pablo Perelman ...
Himself (film-maker)
Alvaro Undurraga ...
Himself (doctor)
Ignacio Valenzuela ...
Himself (uncle of Patricio Guzmán)
Carmen Vivanco ...


After decades of fascist rule in Chile, Patricio Guzman returns to his country to screen his documentary, Battle of Chile, which until the time of the filming was banned by authorities. His audience, a new generation of Chileans who remember little of the revolution and ensuing coup reflect on their experience of watching the film after so many years of suppression. Written by Neal Grigsby <>

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Release Date:

26 February 1999 (UK)  »

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Chile, the Obstinate Memory  »

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User Reviews

Interesting, moving, well-shot
29 November 1999 | by (Québec, Québec, Canada) – See all my reviews

Not only is the subject interesting but the way the movie has been directed too. The film is built around parallels between today (1997) and Salvador Allende's time in Chile (1970-1973), including Pinochet's coup d'état. We see many people, many places, then and now (Patricio Guzmán was a filmmaker in Chile at that time). We hear all the way Guzmán's uncle trying to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata with his 80-year-old fingers and his failing memory, which gives a special color to the whole film. We also hear many thoughtful reflections from interesting people about memory. The final part, where we can see students watching the documentary about Allende's time and the coup, and learn and reflect about the history of their own country, is very moving.

One must say however that the way Allende's experience is presented is one-sided. People are correct when they say that Allende and his supporters had a dream about democracy and justice, but nowhere is there any hint that at the time of the coup, the country had been in a social and economic chaos for two years because of Allende's poor results as a government. Of course, that can't excuse Pinochet's regime, but it could have added a useful dimension to the whole story. Anyway, the movie is not an apology for Allende as much as a reflection about remembering painful personal and collective events after almost a quarter of a century.

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