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The Battle of Chile (Part 1)
Directed by Patricio Guzman • Documentary • 1975 • 96 minutes
On September 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende's democratically elected Chilean government was overthrown in a bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet's army. Patricio Guzmán and five colleagues had been filming the political developments in Chile throughout the nine months leading up to that day. The bombing of the Presidential Palace, in which Allende died, would now become the ending for Guzmán's seminal documentary The Battle of Chile (1975-76), an epic chronicle of that country's open and peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it. Icarus Films has released THE BATTLE OF CHILE on video for the first time ever. A new digital master has been made from a 35mm print. The original commentary track has been up-dated by the director, and new English subtitles prepared under his supervision. 'Not only the best film about Allende and the coup d'etat, but among the best documentary films ever made, changing our concepts of political documentary within a framework accessible to the widest audience.' -Time Out Film Guide The film is divided into two parts: THE BATTLE OF CHILE (Part 1): The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (96 minutes) examines the escalation of rightist opposition following the left's unexpected victory in Congressional elections held in March, 1973. Finding that democracy would not stop Allende's socialist policies, the right-wing shifted its tactics from the polls to the streets. The film follows months of activity as a variety of increasingly violent tactics are used by the right to weaken the government and provoke a crisis. THE BATTLE OF CHILE (Part 2): The Coup d'Etat (88 minutes) opens with the attempted military coup of June, 1973 which is put down by troops loyal to the government. It serves as a useful dry run,...