Well this is a nice piece of news to end the year with; Viva Chile Mierda has been included in this list of 10 best Chilean films of the year according to Twitch! I haven’t seen all these films but the ones I have seen were great so I am very pleased to have been included in this list, especially since many of the other films had actual theatrical releases in Chile. My film only played at FIDOCS and at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago so I am amazed that it was even on their radar let alone memorable enough to be included in their end of year round up. 2014 has been a pretty good year for me. Here’s hoping 2015 is even better. Happy New Year everyone!

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10 Best Chilean Films of 2014 – Twitch

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Revius screenshot

It’s not everyday that one can say that their mother (in her late 70s) was able to find something on the internet that I, her tech-savvy son, had missed but apparently there was a review of my film on the chilean film website (blog?) Revius. It is very positive (which is why I am telling you about it) but it is always interesting to see how viewers respond to my film and this review reflects on the film’s positioning of ‘Papudo’ Valenzuela as a ‘hero’ then as ‘villain’ in an interesting way. The reviewer also mistakenly assumes that my father was in favour of the military coup because of his use of the term ‘military government’ rather than ‘dictatorship.’ To be honest I never knew (and I don’t believe my father knew either) that this way of referring to the Pinochet regime was so significant but now that I think about it, of course it is! Anyway, go ahead and read the full review via the link below. It’s in Spanish of course. Google translate at your own risk…

http://revius.net/2014/06/28/fidocs-2014-viva-chile-mierda-2013/

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The FIDOCS festival program has finally gone live. Here you can see the entry on my film as well as the screening times. If you want to look at the whole program you can do so here.

It looks like a great program. I am very excited to see all of these films next week. Hopefully I will see some of you there!

Andres Valenzuela 2014

(Click on image for original news clipping)

Sadly, as I don’t live in Chile anymore, I missed this news story. So it seems that ‘Papudo’ went back to Chile after all! In March, La Tercera newspaper reported that Andrés Valenzuela finally returned to Chile after 30 years in order to give testimony in several court cases relating to his time with the Joint Command. He only just left the country (according to another article in El Dínamo.) The La Tercera article states that he stayed with relatives whom he himself told me had not seen or heard from him in over 30 years.  One of the several open cases that he was giving testimony for is about the death of president Michelle Bachelet’s father, Brigadier General Alberto Bachelet, who opposed the coup and consequently was tortured and killed by the Pinochet regime.

I am very sorry to read that he has leukaemia and has been living with it for 12 years. (The article notes that he was concerned about running out of his medication after staying on longer than he had planned.)

I’m glad that he was able to return and reconnect with estranged friends and relatives. Hopefully he also achieved some sort of closure with his past by giving his testimony again. I wonder if he actually made it back to his home town while he was in Chile…

I hope that his testimony proves useful and that the families of the victims now have more information about what happened to their loved ones.