Chile's past and present in three films

Three incredible films that cover true stories of Chile's past and present are playing in cultural centers and movies theaters throughout Santiago. These films beautifully portray the recollections, emotions, triumphs and failures of prominent Chilean figures. Check out these movies if you want to understand more of what makes Chile what it is today!

Escapes de Gas

Escapes de Gas - Photo Courtesy of Cine Chile
Escapes de Gas - Photo Courtesy of Cine Chile

This is a documentary about the birth and transformation of a building over four decades. What we today know as the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral, GAM, used to be the center for the United Nation's Conference on Trade and Development in 1972. This movie artfully displays the contextual differences throughout history and the implications these differences had on the building's utilization.

Director Bruno Salas stated in an interview for that it took him seven years to compile all the material for the film. He added that he, "was not looking for a theoretical or a specialist's point of view, but to transmit the direct experience of those wise old men that during the Allende government were very young and took on a great responsibility."

Seeing the film feels like walking through the GAM and reliving its previous two lives. Unfortunately, the majority of the artwork did not survive the military dictatorship or the fire, but there are a few pieces left being shown on the underground floor

Duration: 72 minutes. Director: Bruno Salas.

English subtitled teaser:
Where and when to see it:
Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral, GAM:

Allende en su Laberinto

Allende en su Laberinto - Photo Courtesy of Cine Chile
Allende en su Laberinto - Photo Courtesy of Cine Chile

The movie depicts the last hours of Chile's ex president Salvador Allende and his closest collaborators on September 11th, 1973, inside the Moneda Palace as it was being bombed. It tells the story of the moments that would change Chile's historical identity forever.

According to Miguel Littín, the film’s director, in an interview for CNN Chile, the title relates to Allende's final decision for his own personal destiny and Chile's. "Chile would be different if he had given up. Chile would have been a defeated and humiliated country." He further states that he made the "decision to tell all I knew and feel, in such a way that allows everybody to come to their own conclusion."

Watching the events that had such a profound impact on Chilean history unfold underneath the very building where it all took place is an incredible experience for both Chilean natives and foreign visitors alike. If you were to ask a group of Chileans what it was like living that September 11th in 1973, each will tell you something different, but all will have a common thread of emotions: anguish, desperation and solidarity.

Duration: 90 minutes. Director: Miguel Littín.

For further information:
Where and when to see it: OR OR

El Bosque de Karadima

El Bosque de Karadima - Photo Courtesy of Cine Chile
El Bosque de Karadima - Photo Courtesy of Cine Chile

The movie tells the story of the 20-year abusive relationship between Thomás Leyton and Fernando Karadima, priest and leader of one of Santiago's most powerful churches of the Chilean elite, El Bosque Parish, between the 1980s and the year 2000.

Matías Lira, the movie's director, stated to CNN Chile, that this is about the abuse of power: "For there to be a Karadima, there is a network that does not want this abuse to come to light. That's a contradiction for me. The gospel is about humility, and wanting to help. I see a part of the church that wants to climb the career ladder and another that only wants to help. The small part that wants to climb up influences the other part. The church's structure is very strong. This is the type of power that I focus on in the film."

Based on true events, in 2010 Fernando Karadima, the head of the El Bosque Parish, located in Providencia, was accused of the sexual abuse against minors. The news came as a shock to the country and resulted in a scandal for the church in Chile.

Duration: 100 minutes. Director: Matías Lira.

For further information:
Where and when to see it: OR Cine Hoyts beginning April 23rd.

These films tell the stories of moments that fundamentally construct the Chilean identity through the eyes of their protagonists. They make viewers think about different subjects that affected and continue to affect Chilean social constructs. Make sure to check out these films while they're still in theaters!

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