Historical and family reconstruction of an icon of the region, through the eyes of her granddaughter, in the fervent quest for getting to know the person behind the politician. Marcia Tambiutti questions her own relatives, and faces the reluctance of diving into the past, recording the process, as if the journey was more important than the destination. A clever and intimate story about the personal and social need to go through our history, with roots in our present.
Why did you do something on Allende if there are so many published things about him?
I wanted to do something very personal: how was my grandfather when he was with his family, friends, on holidays or with his grandsons? To answer that, I need to do my own search, from within my family, something that hadn’t happened in any biography, film or research done before. Also, most of the existing material –including films- focusses on his sacrifice on September 11th, 1973 or was done from a political angle, by people who actively participated in the Popular Unit. I want to decipher the everyday personality of my grandfather and reflect upon the mark he left on my family. Being from another generation has allowed me to analyze the facts from a different perspective, for example, the documentary explores the everyday life of people around a leader whose priority is the country’s common wellbeing and, above all, it explores emotions.
Why is it important to watch this film today?
The film poses a dilemma between the role of memory and silence regarding painful issues, things that happen in any family anywhere. In my quest I lead my family, with great love, to recover the possibility of talking about the past without so much pain. Sharing that pain between your loved ones is liberating. I wish the documentary is inspiring in terms of human resilience. From another point of view, without having foreseen the current crisis of political campaign financing (in Chile and several countries around the world), the film portrays a way of making politics based on individual sacrifice, through convictions and ideals, whose mysticism needs to be recovered.
My grandfather and his collaborators suffered huge financial downfalls, they worked hard during their long tours throughout every corner of the country, sometimes they stayed in poor places, and that’s why they got to know the social situation of Chilean people. Since the film has many layers, it also allows us to reflect upon the role of women in politics, when it came to making decisions or under strong male personalities, even their way of silently overcoming painful situations. And this in general, in the sacrifices of those who are not leaders, but who have a strong commitment with causes, which so far have gone unnoticed and are worth reflecting upon.
What is the significance of recovering Salvador Allende’s images?
With friends and close collaborators of my grandfather, I looked for images like the ones in family albums that we were stolen during the dictatorship. Some amazing ideas came up, for example, a silent black and white film of Chico dressed up with the clothes of a friend’s son, which allowed me to discover a very lucid side of my grandfather I hadn’t imagined to be so deep. On the other hand, there are plenty of images of my grandfather scattered all over and, though exile set on collective imagination a repeated iconic figure, Chicho had a vast intense public life for decades, well documented in images. Though during the dictatorship many records were destroyed, even in Chile, when you look into public files, it is possible to find very valuable and personal images. Recovering them is a small victory against the dictatorship’s attempt to erase it. The film’s aim is to de-classify public records, own them from a perspective focused on gestures, anecdotes, on discovering personal objects that survived, on observing how the different spaces of the house were used. The complementation of these two worlds gave me the opportunity to know my grandfather in a more integral way, and helped me reconciling the public persona with the family man.
WED 4, 1.10 pm, CIN 1
WED 4, 9.40 pm, CIN 1
THU 5, 4.00 pm, CIN 1