The full rundown of Chilean music documentaries at In-Edit 2013

With the In-Edit music documentary festival celebrating its tenth anniversary in Chile this year, we thought we’d take a look at the Chilean films on show from 5th – 15th December in Santiago, several of which are also showing from 20th - 22nd December in Concepción. In addition to the international competition and scores of films being screened out of competition, there are several documentaries focused on Chilean music and musicians, with four nominated in the national competition. This is what you can find at In-Edit 2013.

Trapanada en la Patagonia Occidental (all images courtesy of In-Edit)
Trapanada en la Patagonia Occidental (all images courtesy of In-Edit)

Competencia Nacional (National Competition)

En Busca del Piano Perdido (Carlos Pérez)

Chile is not all raucous cumbia and scorching punk, as is shown by this documentary about the composer Enrique Soto. Soto (1884 – 1954) had a major influence on classical music in Chile during the first half of the 20th century, and Pérez’s film traces back his legacy to not only look at Soto’s life but also examine the evolution of classical music in the country. Soto’s works continues to find receptive audiences to this day, confirming him as one of the greatest composers to have ever worked in Chile.

Monday 9th Dec, 8pm, Teatro Nescafe de las Artes; Friday 13th Dec, 5pm, Micro-Cine UC

En Busca del Piano Perdido
En Busca del Piano Perdido

Trapananda en la Patagonia Occidental (Ignacio Aliaga)

The title refers to the region of Aysén (once known as Trapanada), which has become internationally famous in recent times for the massive protests that broke out in 2011 over government plans to construct an immense hydroelectric plant in the Patagonian wilderness. But this isolated region is also home to a distinguished musical heritage, rooted in countryside traditions that draw inspiration from Aysén’s natural beauty. Aliaga’s film includes musicians such as Mate Amargo, Nicasio Luna, and Conjunto Cinchando Pa’ No Aflojar to create a compelling portrait of the musical identity of southern Chile.

Sunday 8th Dec, 6pm, Teatro Nescafe de las Artes; Tuesday 10th Dec, 5pm, Micro-Cine UC

No Habrá Revolución sin Canción (Mélanie Brun)

Chilean music has always carried strong political and social currents, a phenomena that has been notable ever since Violeta Parra used folk music as a means of raising issues of social justice and spreading awareness among exploited peasant and worker communities. French director Mélanie Brum’s film looks at the role of music in leftwing politics, born out of a lack of alternative medium for disseminating consciousness and organising popular movements in Chile. Crossing distinct epochs in Chile’s past and present, including the days of Violeta, the importance of music to Salvador Allende’s socialist government, the underground rise of punk during the dictatorship, and the role of music and culture in contemporary student protests, this is a critically assertive examination of Chilean music as leftwing activism.

Friday 6th Dec, 9pm, GAM; Tuesday 10th Dec, 8pm, Centro Arte Alameda

No Habrá Revolución sin Canción
No Habrá Revolución sin Canción

Variaciones Espectrales (Carlos Lértora)

José Vicente Asuar is a Chilean musician and engineer who invented the Comdasaur, Latin America’s first musical computer. This machine had a grand impact on sound engineering and recording, and was an early indication of the technological developments that would transform modern music in the coming decades. Featuring contributions from several key figures in Chilean music, Variaciones Espectrales pays tribute to the different musical concepts to have benefited from Asuar’s work.

Wednesday 11th Dec, 9pm, Micro-Cine UC; Saturday 14th Dec, 4.30pm, GAM

Selección 10 Años

Piedra Roja (Gary Nathan Fritz)

In 1970, Chile staged a rock music festival, supported by the recently-elected socialist government and featuring several proponents of the country’s burgeoning psychedelic rock scene, such as Los Jaivas, Aguaturbia and Blops. This film from North American director Fritz relives the ‘Chilean Woodstock’, which was held close to the cordillera in Santiago and represented a symbolic moment in the national socialist revolution.

Wednesday 11th Dec, 9.30pm, Centro Cultural de España; Friday 13th Dec, 4.30pm, GAM

Piedra Roja
Piedra Roja

Los Blue Splendor (Manuel González)

In the 1960s, Valparaíso's Los Blue Splendor were the biggest Chilean band around, riding the wave of The Beatles explosion to create a rock ‘n’ roll sound that was inherently Latin American. It was swinging stuff, and both city and sound are affectionately remembered in Gonzalez’s nostalgic trip.

Saturday 7th Dec, 5pm, Micro-Cine UC

Pank (Matín Nuñez)

During the height of the military dictatorship in the mid-80s, Chilean cities existed under a state of Curfew and cultural repression. Across the country, the curtailing of rights bred a generation disenfranchised young Chileans and fomented the rise of an underground punk movement of clandestine music venues and illegal gigs, from which emerged bands such as Fiskales Ad-Hok, Pinochet Boys and Políticos Muertos. The names alone were enough to signal the political anger that energised the scene, a pent up frustration mixed with explosive release. Pank is the story of the time.

Friday 13th Dec, 4pm, Centro Arte Alameda

Santiago Tiene Una Pena
Santiago Tiene Una Pena

La Reina Guadalupe (Fabián Llanca)

Guadalupe del Carmen was possibly Chile’s original pop star, merging Mexican boleros with Chilean folklore in a sound that was tremendously popular during the 50s and 60s. She was particularly loved in poorer urban sectors and in the countryside, for her universal themes of love and loss touched nerves among the masses.

Saturday 7th Dec, 7pm, GAM; Wednesday 11th Dec, 5pm, Micro-Cine UC

Santiago Tiene Una Pena (Diego Riquelme & Felipe Orellana)

It is as much a part of taking the bus in Santiago as waiting in the rain or having to stand up: the countless musicians across the city for whom the public transport system is the stage, spending their days traversing the capital on bus after bus and performing. At times well-received, at others no, this film follows three particular singers as they strive to make a living dependent on the whims of commuters.

Friday 6th Dec, 5pm, Micro-Cine UC

Selección Homenaje

Escape al Silencio: Alfredo Espinoza (Diego Pequeño)

In the 70s, Paris was treated to the arrival of a Chilean saxophonist by the name of Alfredo Espinoza, who proceeded to wow audiences with his mesmeric jazz style and distinctive technique. He worked the European jazz circuit and made it as far as Africa before promptly upping sticks and heading back to his mother’s house in Chile. He became one of his home country’s most renowned musicians before mental illness saw him abandon his music and disappear into the hills of Valparaíso for over a decade. This is a reminder of the remarkable talent that lit up jazz clubs across three continents.

Friday 13th Dec, 9pm, Micro-Cine UC

11 Habitaciones en Antárctica
11 Habitaciones en Antárctica

Selección Popular

11 Habitaciones en Antárctica (José Luis Torres Leiva)

For current indie-pop singer Leo Quinteros, this year’s album Antárctica was a chance to bring numerous creative types into one place, specifically a hotel in Santiago. Here, the director Torres Leiva documented Chilean musicians, actors and artists in an arthouse production set to Quinteros’s record.

Sunday 8th Dec, 7pm, Micro-Cine UC

Compañero: Victor Jara de Chile (Martin Smith & Stanley Forman)

This English-made film from 1974, the year after Jara’s murder in the aftermath of the military coup, is shown officially for the first time in Chile and features contributions from Victor’s wife Joan and many other figures paying tribute to the radical folk singer, as well as stirring archive footage.

Tuesday 10th Dec, 7pm, Micro-Cine UC

El Derecho de Vivir en Paz
El Derecho de Vivir en Paz

El Derecho de Vivir en Paz (Carmen Luz Parot)

The second of three films on Victor Jara at this year’s In-Edit festival, this film also seeks to shed light on the still-unresolved matter of his detention and death. Released in 1999, it was the first film shown on Chilean network TV which addressed the theme in detail. In addition to addressing the cruel injustice of Victor’s killers remaining at large, Parot creates a biography of the singer’s life, from his rural beginnings to his status as the voice of the oppressed.

Wednesday 11th Dec, 6pm, Centro Cultural de España

El Cantor (Dean Reed)

Dean Reed was a prominent leftwing musician and activist from the US who knew Victor Jara and made this film in tribute to his friend. A celebration of Jara’s musical legacy, it also salutes the many Chileans who went into exile during the dictatorship.

Friday 13th Dec, 9pm, GAM

Malditos:Fiskales Ad-Hok (Pablo Insunza)

One of Chile’s pioneering punk bands when they emerged into the Santiago underground in the mid-80s, Fiskales Ad-Hok channelled the fury and isolation of Chilean youth into pulsating punk. Their raucous gigs provided an outlet for a hitherto culturally-stunted movement that was hungry to establish its own identity, having been influenced by foreign musical styles.

Saturday 14th Dec, 4pm, Centro Arte Alameda

El Sueño de la Casa Propia (Felipe Arancibia)

At the vanguard of Chile’s growing electro scene, El Sueño de la Casa Propia, aka José Manuel Cerda, merges minimal beats with sampling and looped melodies which have led him to festivals such as Lollapalooza and Primavera Fauna. This short film documents Cerda’s career so far, most recently marked by the release of the excellent Doble Ola EP.

Friday 13th Dec, 10pm, Centro Arte Alameda

Teatro Nescafe de las Artes, Manuel Montt 032 (Metro Manuel Montt)

Centro Gabriela Mistral, Alameda 177 (Metro Universidad Católica)

Centro Arte Alameda, Alameda 139 (Metro Universidad Católica/Baquedano)

Micro-Cine UC, Alameda 390 (Metro Universidad Católica)

Centro Cultural de España, Av. Providencia 927 (Metro Salvador)

For full details of In-Edit 2013, including the rest of the program, check the festival's official website.

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