So, it’s finally here! WOW kicks the doors of our cinematic minds open from tonight, as it celebrates, commemorates and considers the Chilean landscape, political and literal, in the light of 40 years since Allende’s government was overthrown by General Pinochet. A trio of beautiful Chilean works will be showing tonight (15th March) at Cardiff’s chapter arts centre, and with demand meaning the films have migrated from the planned 59 seater to Chapter’s full auditorium, there is a sense of buzz around the vital, insightful and delightful movies.
In addition, audiences in Aberystwyth (21st March) and Mold (3rd, 4th April) will get to glimpse the 3rd of Pablo Larrain’s set of films about Pinochet era Chile, in No. It has been variously been described as the “Chilean Made Men” as well as “bloodpumping, arthouse yet ambivalent”. If those multiple descriptions lead you no closer to understanding its thought-provoking drama-cum-marketing satire, then our review up in the next few days will.
We are particularly excited to see Nostalgia for the Light’s tale of Astrology, Philosophy, Politics and Tragedy at 6pm tonight. It’s a meditation on the Atacama desert’s dual tales - one of its position in the late 1970’s as a key place for Astrological studies, yet conversely, as the site of bodies of political prisoners buried in the sand as a result of the Chacabuco concentration camps.
The former offers metaphysical comfort to those who have lost loved ones, the almost Malickian images of the sky and desert offering an irreducible beauty and vastness that subsume the deeply felt personal tragedy which is painfully clear. Nonetheless, Astrology is not a metaphorical sleight of hand by director Patricio Guzman - the pain of those who are interviewed, still searching for family members bodies is stark - there is little comfort in searching the immense grandeur of the desert for them.
The evening is being accompanied by Chilean food, drink and music, all presented by Chilean 40 Years On Network and EL Sueno Existe festival. See you there!