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Patricio Guzmán: The Watchful Eye

Screening of Patricio Guzmán's La cruz del sur (The Southern Cross) and Pueblo en vilo (A Village Fading Away). Part of the film series "Patricio Guzmán: The Watchful Eye," a retrospective showcasing several of the acclaimed Chilean documentarian's films.

Saturday, May 07, 2011
7:30 PM
Billy Wilder Theater
Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, 90025

“The only eternal lesson to be had is to study the past, so that we won’t repeat it.”— Patricio Guzmán.

In a remarkable 40-year career, Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán has crafted a unique legacy among documentarians: cataloguing the cataclysmic modern events of his country in a body of work not only timely, but timeless. Influenced early on by the non-fiction work of Chris Marker, Frédéric Rossif and Louis Malle, Guzmán began his career in 1971, documenting the sweeping social and economic reforms enacted by Chile’s then-president, Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist head of state. In 1973, Allende’s government was brought down in a bloody coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power and Guzmán was forced to leave Chile for Europe where he completed The Battle of Chile, Parts 1-3 (1975-1979), a searing account of the Allende government’s final year. Guzmán has returned to the events of 1973 and their aftermath several times throughout his career while also expanding his field of inquiry to explore the very natures of cinema, history and memory. 

About the Films:

THE SOUTHERN CROSS (La cruz del sur) (1992)

In The Southern Cross, Guzmán assays the history of religion in Latin America, from pre-Columbian mythology, through the spread of Christianity and the syncretistic local strategies that arose from their encounter. But this visually rich and contemplative work is no mere illustrated lecture. While grounded in materialism, Guzmán pushes out to explore the spiritual imagination of the region’s diverse peoples and conjures a deeply spiritual film along the way.

80 Minutes | In Spanish with English Subtitles


A VILLAGE FADING AWAY (Pueblo en vilo) (1995)

This rarely seen film finds Guzmán working in collaboration with Mexican historian Luis González y González, a pioneer of “microhistory,” which approaches small-scale, ordinary events as constitutive and reflective of larger historical movements. Inspired by González y González’s classic microhistory of a small Michoacán town and guided by González y González himself, Guzmán tours San José de Gracia with an eye to its resonant past and multi-layered present while exploring the nature of historical inquiry itself.

52 Minutes | In Spanish with English Subtitles


To purchase tickets, please visit (Filmforum members receive a $1 discount off the regular ticket price at the theater box office) Parking Information: Parking is available in the lot under the theater. Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire. Parking for people with disabilities is provided on levels P1 and P3. After 6pm: $3.00 flat rate. Before 6pm: $3.00 for first 3 hours with Museum validation and $1.50 per 20 minutes thereafter, maximum $12 per day. To obtain validation stamp show your ticket stub at the security desk in the Wilshire Lobby.

Cost : Free to UCLA students with valid ID; General Admission: $10

Sponsor(s): Latin American Institute, Center for Argentina, Chile and the Southern Cone, Film and Television Archive, Spanish and Portuguese, Los Angeles Filmforum

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