name = Machuca
Eliseo Altunaga, Andrés Wood
Matías Quer, Ariel Mateluna, Manuela Martelli
distributor = Menemsha Entertainment
5 August 2004(Chile)
runtime = 121 min
language = Spanish
imdb_id = 0378284
"Machuca" (2004) is a
Chilean film written and directed by Andrés Wood. Set in 1973 in Santiago during Salvador Allende's socialist government and shortly before General Augusto Pinochet's military coup, the film tells the story of two friends, one of them the very poor Pedro Machuca who is integrated into the elite school of his friend Gonzalo Infante. The social integration project is headed by the director of the school Father McEnroe.
The film is not intended to provide an overview of this period in Chilean history. Rather, it shows the perspective of Gonzalo Infante, a privileged boy who catches a glimpse of the world of the lower class through Machuca, at a moment when the lower classes are politically mobilized, demanding more rights and forcing fundamental change. At the same time the upper classes, including Gonzalo's own family, grow fearful of the growing socialist movement and plot against the country's elected president, Salvador Allende. Infante's sympathies, however, clearly lie with the poor based on what he has seen. When the military coup d'état is launched which brutally represses poor and activist Chileans, including his friends and Father McEnroe, his own class status comes into relief. Moments after witnessing the murder of a poor, young girlfriend by soldiers clearing a shantytown, Infante is nearly arrested himself. He pleads with the soldier to recognize that he does not belong to this shantytown. The soldier is only convinced after noticing Gonzalo's expensive sneakers. Thus, Infante is forced to abandon his friend, using his class status as a free pass.
At the end of the movie, his family moves into a new, more opulent home. The audience is meant to understand, along with Infante, that this new wealth is connected to the brutal repression of the Chilean masses, who had hoped for real societal change by attempting to create a socialist society.
This film was nominated for the
Ariel Award in 2005in the category "Best Iberoamerican Film". It won Most Popular International Film at the 2004 Vancouver International Film Festival. [http://www.viff.org/viff04/e_media/releases04/FinalRelease.pdf]
Ariel Mateluna- Pedro Machuca
Matías Quer- Gonzalo Infante
Manuela Martelli- Silvana
Ernesto Malbran- Father McEnroe
Aline Küppenheim- María Luisa Infante
* [http://www.woodproducciones.com/en/film/machuca/index.html Machuca in Wood Producciones]
* [http://www.offoffoff.com/film/2005/machuca.php Machuca in the Philadelphia Film Festival]
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