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FILMADRID & MUBI: The Video Essay—“Rear-view Mirror of Chile”

A video essay revisiting images from Chilean cinema fifty years after Pinochet’s coup.
The Video Essay  is a joint project of MUBI and FILMADRID International Film Festival. Film analysis and criticism found a completely new and innovative path with the arrival of the video essay, a relatively recent form that has already its own masters and is becoming increasingly popular. The limits of this discipline are constantly expanding; new essayists are finding innovative ways to study the history of cinema working with images. With this non-competitive section of the festival both MUBI and FILMADRID will offer the platform and visibility of the video essay deserves. The  seven selected works will be shown during the FILMADRID dates (June 6 - 15, 2019) on MUBI's cinema publication, the Notebook. There will also be a free public screening of the selected works during the festival. The selection was made by the programmers of MUBI and FILMADRID.
Rear-view Mirror of Chile by Francisca Lila
The 60's in Chile were a decade of extensive creativity in the cinematographic field, a time in which numerous filmmakers reflected in the landscapes where they lived, the language they used, the anonymous characters and the injustices of a society that looked to the future full of hope The events of September 1973 broke the illusion of a generation of creators that was just beginning and Pinochet's coup d'etat, with its violence and absolute censorship of the arts, forced these filmmakers to stop making films or to go into exile and thus abort a cinematographic journey that had a creative, social and political potential unprecedented in the history of Chilean cinema.
By revisiting these images 50 years later, choosing 6 works but trying to honor with them the many that remain outside, impotence and melancholy arise immediately when thinking of all the aesthetic potential forbidden during the dictatorship. However, the searches and ideas are still there, in the images. This video essay proposes to look back to find identitarian elements that bring together a country, cinematographic elements that speak of something more than cinema, such as optical zoom that point and denounce or a depth of field that does not discriminate by distance or by small. The lifts of Valparaíso go up and down the hills of the port, taking its inhabitants to where the stairs fall into the void, and perhaps the cinema of this era can also act as a vehicle between a past and a present of fertile land, a mountain range and a sea that instead of acting as frontiers, play the role of curtains that open up to project an identity that has been plundered but is still present.
Los años 60 en Chile fueron una década de extensa creatividad en el ámbito cinematográfico, una época en la cual numerosos cineastas reflexionaron acerca de los paisajes donde vivían, el lenguaje que utilizaban, los personajes anónimos y las injusticias de una sociedad que miraba el futuro llena de esperanza. Los acontecimientos de septiembre de 1973 rompieron la ilusión de una generación de creadores que estaba recién comenzando y el golpe de estado de Pinochet, con su violencia y absoluta censura a las artes, obligó a estos cineastas a dejar de hacer cine o a salir al exilio y así, abortar un periplo cinematográfico que tenía un potencial creativo, social y político sin precedentes en la historia del cine chileno.
Al revisitar estas imágenes 50 años más tarde, eligiendo 6 obras pero intentando honrar con ellas las muchas que quedan fuera, la impotencia y melancolía surgen de inmediato al pensar en todo el potencial estético prohibido durante la dictadura. Sin embargo, las búsquedas e ideas siguen ahí, en las imágenes. Este vídeo-ensayo propone mirar hacia atrás para encontrar elementos identitarios que reúnen a un país, elementos cinematográficos que hablan de algo más que cine, como zoom ópticos que apuntan y denuncian o una profundidad de campo que no discrimina por lejano o por pequeño. Los ascensores de Valparaíso suben y bajan los cerros del puerto llevando a sus habitantes a donde las escaleras se precipitan al vacío, y quizás, el cine de esta época también puede actuar como vehículo entre un pasado y un presente de terreno fértil, una cordillera y un mar que en vez de actuar como fronteras, cumplen el rol de telones que se abren para proyectar una identidad saqueada pero aún presente.

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