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Estadio Nacional (2003)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 2001 (Chile)
After a military coup overthrew the democratically elected Socialist government of Chile on September 11, 1973, the capital's National Stadium was the scene of the indiscriminate mass detentions of more than 12,000 suspected dissidents.

Director:

Carmen Luz Parot
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After a military coup overthrew the democratically elected Socialist government of Chile on September 11, 1973, the capital's National Stadium was the scene of the indiscriminate mass detentions of more than 12,000 suspected dissidents.

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Country:

Chile

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

2001 (Chile) See more »

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Connections

Featured in Los Bunkers: Vida de Perros (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

La casa del exorsismo
Written by Fernando Lasalvia
Performed by Must Urban
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User Reviews

 
A vital message to democrats
31 May 2006 | by cliffhanley_See all my reviews

Carmen Luz Parot is a journalist, and one of the new generation of writers and film-makers, children of those imprisoned, killed or exiled by Margaret Thatcher's chum and mentor, Augusto Pinochet. Members of her own family were among those imprisoned. She has made a morbid but fascinating human document, a testament to survival in the worst of circumstances.

After Pinochet's CIA-backed military coup, about 12,000 people were held, raped, tortured, starved, killed, in the Chilean national football stadium. although it is widely accepted as having been a concentration camp, an ex-guard interviewed describes it as looking like more of an extermination camp. In all, 35 survivors have been interviewed for this film, intercut with and segueing into vintage footage, stills and TV video. The opening sequence echoes the brutality swamping the country: a rapid montage of noise and visuals. The juxtaposition of interviews, today's return to the stadium, stills and movie shots of the scenes and participants being recalled, and the TV reportage with or without the reporter blithely retailing the fiction about the comfortable and well-fed prisoners, give the film an unstoppable flow. It is a valuable document: the truth lying in the details deemed un-newsworthy at the time. TV and papers only showed us prisoners standing around on the terraces. At night they were herded, some with multiple fractures received during arrest, later many in even worse condition through repeated torture, into the changing-rooms, locker rooms and toilets, where there was barely room to sit. Incredibly, in the middle of this, one soldier and one young female prisoner fell in love.

Torturers would electrocute or beat people up until 5.15, and then go home to play with their children. The pitch turf was kept well-tended throughout. After two long months, 7,000 survivors were set free and a further 900 dispersed to other prisons, in time for the World Cup. The first game was played without one of the teams, Russia, who were aware of the stadium's recent history. England were not unduly bothered by such scruples. Cliff Hanley


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