Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2023 Mica L Barrett
One of the most renowned Chilean exile filmmakers is Patricio Guzmán. Best known for his documentary work regarding the Allende years, Guzmán has continued to make films regarding his homeland in the decades following his initial exile.
The Cordillera of Dreams is the concluding film in a trilogy exploring the natural lands of Chile and their relationship to physical remnants of the human past. The initial and most renowned film in the series, Nostalgia for the Light, centers the Atacama Desert and Chileans’ relationship to the geography as a gateway to revealing artifacts of Chile’s recent history of genocide and its persisting legacy. Similarly, The Cordillera of Dreams focuses on artists and historians who look to the Andes mountains as witnesses to the past and reflect on the Andes as representative of the selling of Chilean land and resources to foreign investors.
Guzman speaks of a country's landscape and resources as a nation’s body, and the citizens as the nation's soul. Guzman's filmmaking peer, Pablo Salas, states that "Chile's soul is rotten." Guzman targets the question of the coup's legacy, doing so in reflecting on the physically changing landscape of Chile, the natural resources that provide economic and cultural value for the nation.
My thesis asserts that access to resources and nationally owned and operated land makes up a core aspect of identity in a place of such rich resources, the privatization is eating away at the literal foundation of Chilean national identity.
Barrett, Mica, "(Re)Constructing National Memory in Neoliberal Chile through Patricio Guzman's The Cordillera of Dreams (2019)" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2016.
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