(Chile 2013 96m) Centro Arte Alameda
p Cecilia Barriga, Cristina Otero Roth, Fernando Fernández d/w/c Cecilia Barriga ed Cristina Otero Roth
Three Moments, One Scream. The three moments are present and still relevant, but somewhat forgotten nowadays. How could it be possible for a social movement so strong and so inspiring to everyone who lived it (me included) or was subjected to the ideas, the screams and the energy of the people who wanted something better, how is it possible that that energy has dissapeared? In a way, this documentary manages to address the feeling that everything seems to be ‘dying out’ as time goes by, how the people who lived in the street for days in Madrid (and Spain in general) and Wall Street (or the United States in general), or even in the schools that were taken by the Chilean students, how they seem to be moving out and be… happy with it isn’t the exact word I’m looking for, but they do seem content with the whole situation, as if they knew that what they did had an impact, they didn’t receive what they wanted, or everything that they wanted, but they did manage at least a sense of self respect, or at least the government, those in power, realized that the people that they thought that they controlled was not as quiet and ordained as they thought. There is a problem though with this documentary, and it’s the same with similar experiments like ‘Vers Madrid (The Burning Bright)!’ (2012), that chronicled the events of the Madrid Plaza with incredible detail (it lasts more than 2 hours), but at the same time the people who fight start to devolve and fight between each other, and the importance of the protest is diluted with the trivia and the ‘funny’ or ‘diverse’ things that happen around it, and while it does make the documentary more entertaining (though that’s not the case here, it actually pads it out a bit too much), it dilutes the original message and it’s forgotten at the end of the film.
So, first moment: Madrid, 2011. It was nice to be back, and at the same time a bit boring, though different moments were chosen when comparing this film to the Sylvain George effort ‘Vers Madrid (The Burning Bright!)’ (2012), it was still familiar speeches and even faces at times. The sitting and sleeping in the Plaza del Sol at Madrid was one of the least covered news items worldwide, but it was a raging success when it came to the social networks on the internet, where I got my informations from when it was happening. This segment of the film doesn’t achieve the raw and powerful moments that the George film manages to get, specially in the confrontations with the police, but it does give you the better political approach to a community society that actually works and inspires; I was already familiar with the codes and the language used here, and even if the conflict is clearer in this context than in any of the other three moments of this film, it still lacks the force of the 2012 film.
The second moment, obviously, is the Occupy Wall Street movement. There’s another chilean film that looks at the OWS movement, comparing it to the student movement in Chile, and while that film did manage to portray the events going on there in a much more clear manner, it was very badly edited when it’s compared to this, much more simpler approach, with the most impressive moments when the director manages to film a chinese man that wants justice for China, and wants his picture to go around the world to raise awareness of the modern state of things in the United States, China and all over the world. That single moment saves this segment from being another animated reportage of the situation going on, and while this was much more publicited than any of the other two events in the world portrayed in this film, it doesn’t become clearer, except for a few things about the codes and the ways of communicating that they use.
The third moment is perhaps the most dissapointing, mainly because the moment already happened. It’s about the student movement in Chile, and we are seeing how January approached and with that the end of the year and the students are returning the taken schools for their reopening coming March, when the classes start again. It’s kinda interesting to see inside these schools being occupied by the kids and how they work out their lives there, as well as they reflect what happened in the year, as well as making a promise of coming back later that same year to defend again what they want: a free and public education of great quality. But it’s dissapointing to compare this movement that was dying with the other two that were blooming and in their apogee. There are many interesting moments in other films waiting for us, and sadly this didn’t have the necessary footage of the Chilean struggle for it to become any interesting in that department.
Now, while I seem very negative about this documentary, I was thinking of the common moviegoer, how they’d react to something like this, and I think that it’s pretty much positive in that regard, I think it’s fundamental for people to see these kind of documentaries, only to see things that you don’t nomally see in your local news. I just wish that it was much better in practically every sense of the audiovisual world that you could think of, but it is well edited, I can give it that much for this particular movie.