García Bernal stars in new film on Chile’s democratic transition

August 6, 2012

No, a new film by Pablo Larraín on the 1988 referendum that ended the Pinochet dictatorship, premiered to great acclaim this week in Santiago de Chile, after winning the Art Cinema Award at Cannes in May. Based on a play by Antonio Skármeta (of Il Postino fame), and starring the Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, the film chronicles the lead-up to the referendum, which Pinochet had designed to perpetuate his hold on power, but which resulted in an unexpected 56-44 defeat for the dictator whose 1973 coup overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. (For a recent essay on Allende by Greg Grandin in the London Review of Books, click here.)