The Battle of Chile

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History Documentary hosted by Abilio Fernandez, published by Icarus Films in 2009 - Spanish narration

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Image: The-Battle-of-Chile-Cover.jpg

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On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende's democratically elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet's army. Patricio Guzman and five colleagues had been filming the political developments in Chile throughout the nine months leading up to that day. The bombing of the Presidential Palace, in which Allende died, would now become the ending for Guzman's seminal documentary The Battle of Chile (1975-78), an epic chronicle of that country's open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it. Guzman's landmark film is today considered one of the finest examples of documentary filmmaking anywhere, anytime. With minimal support and despite extreme odds this award-winning work captured an exceptional moment in history through a fertile mix of direct cinema, investigative reportage and political analysis. Instead of a chronological record, the three parts each recount the events from different perspectives. Part One focuses on the growing confrontation between Allende's supporters and the increasingly violent rebellion of the middle classes which gave the military their excuse of 'restoring order'. Part Two tracks the deterioration of Allende's position following the attempted coup of 29 June 1973, while Part Three is a coda which documents the loose coalition of workers and citizens who respond to right-wing initiatives by grassroots self-organisation in defence of Allende's visionary politics.

[edit] The Insurrection of the Bourgeouisie

Salvador Allende begins a program of profound social and political transformations. From day one, the right organizes a series of wildcat strikes against him, while the White House asphyxiates him economically. In spite of the boycott - in March of 1973 - the parties in support of Allende win 43.4 percent of the vote. The right comes to understand that legal mechanisms will no longer work for them. From then on, their strategy will be the strategy of the military coup. "The Battle of Chile" is a fresco which shows, step by step, these acts that shook the world.

[edit] The Coup d'Etat

Between March and September of 1973, the left and right face off in the streets, in the factories, in the courts, in the universities, in parliament, and in the news media. The situation becomes unsustainable. The United States finances the truckers' strike and foments social chaos. Allende tries to reach an agreement with the powers of the Christian Democracy, but fails. The contradictions within the left-wing increase the crisis. The military begins to conspire in Valparaiso. A wide sector of the middle class supports the boycott and civil war. On September 11, Pinochet bombs the governmental palace.

[edit] The Power of the People

On the sidelines of the large-scale occurrences that narrate the previous films, other original phenomena -- sometimes ephemeral, incomplete -- are also taking place and are picked up by the third part. Many sectors of the population and in particular the social layers in support of Allende organize and start up a series of collective actions: communitarian stores, industrial cordons, farmers' committees, etc., with the intention of neutralizing the chaos and overcoming the crisis. These institutions, in the majority spontaneous, represent a 'state' inside the State.

[edit] Chile, Obstinate Memory

Twenty years ago, numerous films were made about the incredible revolutionary fever that seized Chile in the seventies, during Allende's governance. One of these documentary films "The Battle of Chile", showed this reality in a very clear way and went all over the world. In 1997, its author returned to Chile accompanied by a small team to once again traverse the original settings and find some of the characters from the prior film. Plus! a 22-minute interview with Patricio Guzman conducted by Brazilian film critic Jose Carlos Avellar.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 2122 kbps
Video Resolution: 720x464
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.552:1
Frames Per Second: 29.970
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 224kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: spanish
RunTime Per Part: 1:28:27
Number Of Parts: 4
Part Size: 1,45 GB / average
Ripped by: DocFreak08

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