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(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


The Battle Of Chile

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