Santiago, capital of Chile during the Marxist government of elected, highly controversial president Salvador Allende. Father McEnroe supports his leftist views by introducing a program at the prestigious "collegio" (Catholic prep school) St. Patrick to allow free admission of some proletarian kids. One of them is Pedro Machuca, slum-raised son of the cleaning lady in Gonzalo Infante's liberal-bourgeois home. Yet the new classmates become buddies, paradoxically protesting together as Gonzalo gets adopted by Pedro's slum family and gang. But the adults spoil that too, not in the least when general Pinochet's coup ousts Allende, and supporters such as McEnroe.Written by
I live in Chile, where the movie happens. I have also followed Andres Wood in his career as a Director and I must say that this is his most mature, rounded and strong piece of work.
The Movie is centered in the social phenomena that happened in the last days before the Coup in 1973. Now the movie is incredibly accurate from the Costume Design, the Cars's License Plates, the expressions, the product brands and graffitis, to the social polarization, violence and killings. As remarkable as the Production is the honesty of the director, who could have easily fall into contaminating his movie with political propaganda, instead he kept delightfully accurate.
Even though for those who knows the history, the devastating feeling is all around, the movie centers in the social experiment led by a priest who was the principal of a high class school, who takes into the school some poor mestizo children.
Machuca is one of this children's who begins a friendship with a white rich children.
The story itself works as a metaphor for the innocence of the people in that time. innocence that was lost over and over.
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