IMDb > A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman (2007)

A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman (2007) More at IMDbPro »


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Ariel Dorfman (book)
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A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman is an exploration of exile, memory, longing... See more » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
looking at perfection itself See more (1 total) »



Salvador Allende ... Himself (archive footage)
Michelle Bachelet ... Herself (archive footage)

Hugo Chávez ... Himself (archive footage)
Rafael Correa ... Himself (archive footage)
Ariel Dorfman ... Himself
Rodrigo Dorfman ... Himself
María Elena Duvauchelle ... Herself
Néstor Kirchner ... Himself (archive footage)

Henry Kissinger ... Himself (archive footage)
Lula ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lula da Silva)
Evo Morales ... Himself (archive footage)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)

Augusto Pinochet ... Himself (archive footage)
Paula Sharim ... Herself
Antonio Skármeta ... Himself

Juliet Stevenson ... Herself
Tabaré Vázquez ... Himself (archive footage)

Judi Dench ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Raymont 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ariel Dorfman  book "Heading South, Looking North"

Produced by
Peter Raymont .... producer
Original Music by
Mark Korven 
Cinematography by
Mark Ellam 
Film Editing by
Michèle Hozer 
Production Management
Janice Dawe .... production supervisor
Norma Mendoza .... production manager
Sound Department
Ryan Aktari .... sound
Dustin Harris .... sound editor
Ao Loo .... sound
Steve Payne .... re-recording mixer
Ian Rodness .... re-recording mixer
Jakob Thiesen .... sound editor
Editorial Department
Louis Casado .... film timer
Music Department
Elizabeth Klinck .... music clearances
Rodrigo Dorfman .... thanks
María Elena Duvauchelle .... thanks
Antonio Skármeta .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Canada:92 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | Canada:91 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)See more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
looking at perfection itself, 15 October 2008
Author: cookie_on_fire from Slovenia

Thank you, Ariel Dorfman, for being able to speak for the Dead. I am sure they would be proud and honored by Dorfman's voice in this movie. It has been several hours since I've seen this documentary, but it just doesn't let go of my thoughts. Not only Dorfman is a witness, a story teller, an intellectual in an exile, he also provides a humble, yet interesting criticism of his own survival of the coup: "Maybe I should have gone there, expose myself and get killed. But I was a coward." He made his self-preservation fear justified by his work and testimony.

But this story is beyond accusation of the political injustice and violent regime. It is also beyond history. Dorfman doesn't need to point a finger, although the story has to be told for the Death he is representing, for the people that "vanished", for the dead bodies, that have been, by making them disappear for their family, "deprived of their own death". The death has been unofficial for them. So was the story of his grandma - Dorfman has to face the guilt of being abroad and the pain of being "deprived" of her death. I also love the fact Death and the Maiden, his most renown work (besides this movie?) is included, because this work is ubiquitous and timeless. You can apply it to any crisis, any abuse of human rights and - any country in the world.

Nemo propheta in patria: Dorfman admits the exile has given him many multicultural dimensions, provided a different perspective for him. He visits his homeland to later return in the USA. A friend of him explains why this is needed, both for the USA and for Chile: his voice needs to be out in the world.

Another turning point in the documentary: in a spirit of true democracy, Dorfman would fight for the rights of Pinochet fans to express their opinion. Puzzled and shocked by Pinochet's heart attack, Dorfman explores the temptations of revengeful feelings, only to reject them instantly: "I don't want anybody's death, not even my worst enemies'. I want him to be prosecuted." Similarities with Milosevic, anyone? Am I the only one who sees the man is a Nobel prize material?! I LOVE IT and am looking forward to see it again at least twice. The messages in it are too strong to be neglected and overlooked. Furthermore, you will not be bored for a single moment. This is emotionally loaded, well timed movie. I did not rate it 10 just because I empathize politically, I strongly believe this is an excellent made masterpiece.

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