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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

looking at perfection itself

10/10
Author: cookie_on_fire from Slovenia
15 October 2008

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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