Chilean Cinema 2014 #18: La Comunidad (2013)

(Chile 2013 67m) Vimeo

p Paola Castillo, Marcela Morilla d/w Isabel Miquel ed Camilo Campi c Eduardo Cruz Coke, Pablo Insunza

There’s been countless movies, specially in the recent years, that have managed to attain the power that they have in the viewer, that everything that they put on the screen will be taken seriously, because you are entering into the concepts and the world that it has created. This goes both towards fiction and documentaries. In fiction if you are nitpicking stuff apart from certain scenes that, according to you “would never happen in real life” I have two things to say: a. stranger things have been happening in the world since it was big ball of molten lava, b. you are entering the world of the film, with its own rules and ways of being, if you don’t enter into that concept and decide to critically analyze every bit of it as if it happened in our universe, well I think it’s you to blame, and not the freaking movie. But I digress. In the case of documentaries, it’s different, we are talking about: a. fact, b. point of view, c. experience; we can catalog documentaries in a different way than we do with fiction, because in this case we can be aware of the powers that it uses to create a world of its own, and if we are conscious beings that know where we stand, we might not know everything, but we are pretty much clear that when they try to lie to us through deviant ways, we could take point and yell about how we won’t take it.

Something like this happened in 2012 when there was a baaaaaad Chilean documentary called ‘Pinochet’ (2012), that tried hard (and maybe with too much naivete) to legitimize the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet during 17 years in Chile, it was appalling to see how everything was discarded as lies when they’ve been proven by tribunals from all around the world, how they disregard murders and torture done in the most disgusting moments in the history of my country, and it was done in such a distasteful and crude way that it just wasn’t worth anything, they wanted to justify the murder and the oppression through economical progress, something that also is a lie on itself. The documentary that drives us to this review is something similar, but made in such a way that it doesn’t appear as a crude whitewash at start, but slowly and surely drives you towards the sense that we should forget about the death of a woman that didn’t have to die, disregard the testimony of people who pertained to the community and then wanted to go away, just to be shrugged off and shamed upon the rest of the people. It’s a disgrace what this documentary wants to make, but oh, the cinematography is so nice, and oh, it’s so well researched (as much as it ignores the most important facts of the case) that many will fall for it, and that’s so disgusting.

‘La comunidad’ (2013) tries hard to whitewash a religious fanatic community of people that due to its disregard for human life and adoration of the after life, facilitated the death of a young woman that had just had a baby. The lack of medical attention, due to their religious views. The documentary, on the other hand, chucks that all out of the window, focusing on the personalities of the members, chiefs and followers of the community, as if to humanize it as much as possible. The director has an incredible amount of access to the innards of the organization and those who operate it, and thus that access isn’t something that is given away for granted, as if to expect some kind of objective view of what’s going on there, well, that’s the problem with this movie, it tries to play innocent, but its intentions are way too clear. It’s not edgy to take an unpopular position regarding a subject that is as serious as the death and life of people who are being denied certain particular basic rights due to some kind of horrific cult or way of looking at religion. I wish that believing wasn’t some kind of thing that made you powerful, but made you humble. At least, that’s what I consider myself to be when I say I’m a believer. These guys can rot in jail for all I care, but this movie celebrates the moment where they are sent free of charges. Disgusting dreck.



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