Chilean Cinema 2013 #29: Mi vida con Carlos (2010)

(Chile 2010 83m) Cineteca Nacional

p Christian Beetz, Elsa Casademont, Mario Díaz, Paula García d Germán Berger w Germán Berger, Roberto Brodsky, Joaquim Jordá c Miguel Ioann Littin Menz ed Andrea Chignoli, Danielle Fillios s Miranda and Tobar

An emotional documentary about the death and desaparition of the father of the director Germán Berger, Carlos Berger (hence the title) when Germán was only one year old. The film reunites the two surviving brothers of Carlos and his wife (German’s mother) in a cathartic act in the presumed place where he was murdered and then ripped to pieces because he received the special treatment by the military, by a group of savage killers nicknamed ‘The Caravan of Death’, that travelled through all of Chile months after the coup d’etat that brought Pinochet and the military to the power, they were assigned with the duty of killing and maiming some random political detainees. The documentary manages to create an ambience of playfulness when it relates to the family of Carlos and how it was affected when they knew of his death, the idea of an act in the middle of the dessert is incredibly interesting, and whenever we hear the reasons of the two brothers to not fight in a louder manner (as Germán’s mother did) is really interesting, there’s even a complicated moment where we hear how their reasons not to really care about Carlos’s death (as affected as they were), it makes you a bit outraged, yet at the same time you can’t help but understand the circumstances. The final question is how would we react at a hard time like a military occupation, where even our brother, our friends, our children, our partners could easily get killed and dissapeared as if nothing important really happened. What would be your reaction? Does it matter what political opinion do you have when something as harsh and unavoidable as death is present in your life at every moment and every step you make? The final act in the dessert is among the most emotive moments put on film in a long time, but the film also falls into some commonplaces that could’ve been avoided easily, but right now, this is maybe the strongest and most important documentary (after ‘Nostalgia de la Luz’ (2010) ) about the 40 years of Coup d’etat in September 1973 and the malign effect it had on our society and on a big part of the families and human beings of Chile. This should never happen again, ever.

8/10

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