The annual celebration of Chile’s “Fiestas Patrias” (“Patriotic Holidays”) took place this week in recognition of the country’s 202nd year of independence. It was an occasion for Chileans to come together to show their patriotism and pride for their country.
The signs of unity on display on Tuesday contrasted sharply with the divisions displayed one week before on the 39th anniversary of the coup d’état against the country’s civilian government. In Santiago, for instance, police and protesters clashed after a “largely peaceful demonstration” in memory of the hundreds of victims targeted by the military junta.
The silver screen has not been immune from the heated opinions on the September 11, 1973 coup and the subsequent military regime led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet. In June supporters and detractors of the late dictator faced off at the screening of a documentary that praised the late dictator as a “national hero who saved Chile from communism.”
“No” is a 2012 movie that takes a critical look at the Pinochet government. The film stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal as Rene Saavedra, an advertising executive heading a marketing campaign trying to convince voters to defeat the strongman in a 1988 national referendum. The movie dramatizes the many difficulties faced by the campaign including limited resources and pressure from the government. The film also shows archival footage including commercials that helped sway pubic opinion against Pinochet.
Below the page break is a clip from “No” where Saavedra and his associates encounter resistance to their plan from opposition activists:
Directed by Pablo Larrain, “No” captured the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival Directors' Fortnight. The movie will be featured at several upcoming film festivals in cities like New York and London.
Video Source – YouTube via user whispersoftly
Online Sources – The Playlist, The Guardian, BBC News, imdb.com, Huffington Post