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The Battle of Chile (Part 1 and Part 2)
A Film by Patricio Guzmán
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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 Guzmán 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 Guzmán's seminal documentary The Battle of Chile (1975-76), an epic chronicle of that country's open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it.

Icarus Films has released THE BATTLE OF CHILE on video for the first time ever. A new digital master has been made from a 35mm print. The original commentary track has been up-dated by the director, and new English subtitles prepared under his supervision.

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"Not only the best film about Allende and the coup d'etat, but among the best documentary films ever made, changing our concepts of political documentary within a framework accessible to the widest audience." —Time Out Film Guide

The film is divided into two parts:

THE BATTLE OF CHILE (Part 1): The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (96 minutes) examines the escalation of rightist opposition following the left's unexpected victory in Congressional elections held in March, 1973. Finding that democracy would not stop Allende's socialist policies, the right-wing shifted its tactics from the polls to the streets. The film follows months of activity as a variety of increasingly violent tactics are used by the right to weaken the government and provoke a crisis.

THE BATTLE OF CHILE (Part 2): The Coup d'Etat (88 minutes) opens with the attempted military coup of June, 1973 which is put down by troops loyal to the government. It serves as a useful dry run, however, for the final showdown, that everyone now realizes is coming. The film shows a left divided over strategy, while the right methodically lays the groundwork for the military seizure of power. The film's dramatic concluding sequence documents the coup d'etat, including Allende's last radio messages to the people of Chile, footage of the military assault on the presidential palace, and that evening's televised presentation of the new military junta.

Included in the special-edition four-disc Battle of Chile DVD

"Great films rarely arrive as unheralded as The Battle of Chile." – Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

"The major political film of our times - a magnificent achievement." – Tom Allen, Village Voice

"A landmark in the presentation of living history on film." – Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle

Click here for the New York Times review.

1998 Award of Merit in Film, Latin American Studies Association
Premiere, Director's Fortnight, 1975 & 1976 Cannes Film Festivals
Grand Prize, 1975 & 1976 Grenoble International Film Festivals
  

184 minutes / b&w
Spanish
Release: 1998
Copyright: 1975
UPC: 8-54565-00119-0
ISBN: 9786313085064
DVD Sale: $44.98

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.


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Subject areas:
Chile, History (World), Latin America, On 35mm, Social Movements

Related Links:
The Films of Patricio Guzmán

Click here to read the National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 8: Chile and the United States Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973

View a PDF of the Film's Press Kit

Related Titles:
The Battle of Chile: The epic chronicle of Chile's open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it in 1973, now on a special edition 4-DVD set.

The Battle of Chile (Part 3): Deals with the creation by ordinary workers and peasants of thousands of local groups of "popular power."

Chile, Obstinate Memory: Patricio Guzmán's landmark film The Battle of Chile (1976) documented the "Popular Unity" period of Salvador Allende's government, the tumultuous events leading up to the 1973 coup, and Allende's death. Guzmán has returned to show The Battle of Chile in his homeland for the first time, and to explore the terrain of the confiscated (but reawakening) memories of the Chilean people.

Salvador Allende: Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile) tells Allende's story, from his youth in Valparaiso and his early career, to his presidency of Chile and death during the coup of September 11, 1973.

Nostalgia for the Light: Director Patricio Guzmán travels to Chile’s Atacama Desert where astronomers examine distant galaxies, archaeologists uncover traces of ancient civilizations, and women dig for the remains of disappeared relatives.

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Last Updated June 2, 2013
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