machuca

April 29, 2007

I watched a great movie called “Machuca” last night. It’s a coming-of-age story told through the life of an 11-year-old privileged boy in Chile during their socialist upheval in the 70s. I got a real basic history lesson from the film, one that describes most political unrest in Latin America.

machuca_poster.jpg

Basically, the president in power, Allende, wanted the poor to have better lives, so he began introducing socialist/marxist/communist ideals to the country. The upper-class peeps didn’t agree with having to sacrifice or have their privileges taken away, or even shared. In the movie, a few slum kids are invited to attend an elite private grade prep school. an unlikely friendship forms, the viewer gets a lesson on the class system and how disgusting it is, what poverty really looks like and how lucky some people are. The end is sad. The president ends up killing himself when the nationalist party takes over, restoring “normalcy.” The poor people basically get exterminated. It breaks my heart, except the continuation of the history lesson is that the nationalist leader who took power, Pinochet, was eventually exiled for crimes against humanity (for killing all those poor people) and Chile is now led by a socialist female president. Of course that doesn’t mean Chile doesn’t still have rich and poor. I’d love to visit one day. It’s my “neighbor” country anyway, although Peru and Chile haven’t been friendly in the past.

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One Response to “machuca”

  1. Carlos said

    I missed the movie because I was in a shitty mood. Sounds like I missed a very good movie, one that I would have really liked since I am interested in all latin american socio-political history. Maybe you’ll watch it again with me sometime.

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