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Salvador Allende (2004)

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From his childhood in Valparaiso to his death during the Pinochet military coup on September 11, 1973, the life and works of Chilean president Salvador Allende.


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Title: Salvador Allende (2004)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (archive footage)
Patricio Guzmán ...
Narrator (voice)
Jacques Bidou ...
Narrator (voice)
Alejandro Gonzáles ...
Himself (as Alejandro 'Mono' Gonzáles)
Ema Malig ...
Anita ...
Victor Pey ...
Sergio Vuskovic ...
Edward M. Korry ...
Isabel Allende Bussi ...
Herself - Salvador Allende's Daughter (as Isabel Allende)
Ernesto Salamanca ...
Carmen Paz ...
Claudina Nuñez ...
Volodia Teitelboim ...
Carlos Pino ...


From his childhood in Valparaiso to his death during the Pinochet military coup on September 11, 1973, the life and works of Chilean president Salvador Allende.

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5 September 2007 (USA)  »

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Leaves out much of what would condemn Allende to the dust bin of history
5 September 2005 | by (Chile) – See all my reviews

I awaited this film's opening in Chile with great anticipation. The distributor had waited over a year to show it in the very place where the events took place. After reading that it had won a prize at Cann I began to have my doubts about it's veracity and my doubts were confirmed in the first 10 minutes. This film is a white wash of the events that took place during presidency of Salvador Allende. The film conveniently leaves out the fact that 65 percent of the electorate rejected Allende at the polls and only through deal making with members of the legislature did he become president.

With 35% of the voting public behind him (hardly an mandate) Salvador Allende began to dismantle the entire Chilean economic structure in his attempt to turn this nation into a workers paradise like that of the Soviet Union that he admired so much. He began by appropriating foreign owned agricultural assets and dividing them up into small plots and turning them over to the people that had been employed by those interests. When he discovered that the demand for free land among the 'workers' was still great he began to dismantle privately owned Chilean farms. The legislature, many of whom owned those farms, balked at that idea, so with the help of his goon squads he simply turned a blind eye his party's organized land invasions. With much of the land now out of production due to the inability of the new owners to produce at anywhere near the level necessary to feed the nation, scarcity of farm products in the cities became a problem. Prices of food increased dramatically. To pacify the people he decreed a doubling of the price for labor. Now all of Chile's exports became too expensive to compete in the world market which dried up the supply of foreign exchange to pay for ever increasing imports of food. Prior to 1970 Chile had been a net exporter of agricultural products.

Within 18 months his vision of workers with rakes and hoes across their shoulders, singing patriotic songs as they marched off to the fields and the copper mines to labor for the fatherland came true, except they were marching on the presidential palace asking why there wasn't any bread to feed their children. Newspapers had stopped publishing, the buses had stopped running. That's when the opposition began to get vocal and when the murders to silence that opposition started to take place. The Chilean military continued to stand by and watch as Allende and his crew destroyed the middle class and drove the upper class from the country. When Chileans, in the winter of 73 began to eat the dogs roaming the streets, when the mines were shut down due to the lack of a market for their product, with the transportation industry bankrupt due to lack of products to transport, as a civil war was breaking out, then and only then, and with the blessing of the majority of the legislature did the military act.

This "documentary", done in the Michael Moore style of half truths and omissions, fails to paint a true picture of the terrible events of those 3 years in Chile by painting a picture of Salvador (how ironic) Allende as a good hearted but miss guided victim. He was not good hearted, he was not miss guided, but perhaps he was a victim, a victim of events he created. The people of Chile were the true victims.

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