FRIDAY, APRIL 24
THE BATTLE OF CHILE
(Patricio Guzmán, Chile/Cuba/France). 263 minutes. Rating: NNNNN The Battle Of Chile, screening in its entirety as part of the retrospective honouring Patricio Guzmán’s Outstanding Achievement Award, is one of the most important documentaries ever made.
Guzmán’s three- part, five- hour recounting of the 1973 fall of Salvador Allende’s government and the installation of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship bears witness to the rise of a powerful civilian uprising – and the military coup that crushed it, plunging Chile into the darkest period in its history.
Focusing on the people rather than the politicians, Guzmán crafts an urgent, immediate vision of a nation sliding into chaos. He organizes massive amounts of information into a clear, devastating narrative.
It’s a stunning journalistic accomplishment, as well as a stirring work of cinema. NW Apr 24, 10:15 am, Isabel Bader (Heddy Honigmann, Netherlands). 94 minutes. Rating: NNN The title’s a misnomer. Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra may have gone around the world, but veteran documentarian Heddy Honigmann keeps the focus on three cities: Buenos Aires, Soweto and St. Petersburg.
Her subjects in those locations are engaging, but they’re part of what should have been a separate project on the power of music around the globe.
This doc shines brightest when it tracks the logistical challenges of packing up a full orchestra for an overseas flight or when it focuses on percussionist Herman Rieken and double-bassist Dominic Seldis. More sequences with the musicians themselves would have made this fine film even stronger. SGC Apr 24, 1: 45 pm, Bloor Hot Docs; Apr 25, 1 pm, Isabel Bader; May 1, 6:15 pm, TIFF 1; May 3, 1: 30 pm, Regent
AROUND THE WORLD IN 50 CONCERTS
The Battle Of Chile