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UKScreen Rating:

Machuca – Review


Against the backdrop of the political upheaval, which saw Pinochet take over Chile, eleven year old Gonzalo (Quer) is going through upheaval in his own life.
When the priest who runs the private school he attends decides to admit poor children from the indigenous Indian population, it rips the community apart.
And Gonzalo’s own family is ripped apart, as his mother pursues an affair, while his father gets a job abroad.


Andres Wood’s carefully observed study of the end of democracy in Chile is based on his own childhood experiences.
The traumatic events colour the lives of the children who want to do no more than grow up and discover themselves and each other.
They didn’t understand the politics that kept the rich and the poor – the European and indigenous Indian – apart and ultimately ripped the country apart. They could do no more than watch and react.
The film doesn’t pull its punches and shows that are conservatives and progressives on all sides.
It lays on the drama perhaps a little too thick, by making Gonzalo have to deal with parental infidelity on top of his own journey of self-discovery in such troubled times.
But it’s largely a sensitive and powerful portrayal of the futility of childhood hopes in the face of the events which shape history.

Opens in selected cinemas on May 6



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