A number of years earlier than Patricio Guzmán directed his tripartite masterpiece, “The Battle of Chile,” in regards to the occasions resulting in the C.I.A.-backed navy coup that toppled the socialist authorities of President Salvador Allende in 1973, the Chilean filmmaker made “The First 12 months”: an account of the inaugural 12 months of Allende’s rule. Guzmán traveled by Chile, interviewing the working class about Allende’s socialist insurance policies and accumulating a crackling portrait of hope and incipient change.
The French filmmaker Chris Marker noticed the documentary in 1971 and determined to assist present it in France, enlisting quite a few actors, together with Delphine Seyrig, to dub the Spanish dialogue in French. That model, arriving this week in a glowing restoration at Anthology Movie Archives, is a exceptional doc not solely of a fleeting second of historic promise, but in addition of an earnest gesture of worldwide solidarity.
Guzmán’s documentary is a folks’s microhistory of a nation in transition. He talks to Indigenous peasants about Allende’s land-redistribution applications, miners and manufacturing unit employees in regards to the nationalization of assets that have been being exploited by American enterprise, fishermen about insurance policies designed to liberate them from predatory middlemen. Guzmán’s digital camera is dynamic, probing faces and gazes with curiosity, and his interviewees are forthright. The movie throbs with jubilant vitality, culminating with Fidel Castro’s go to to Chile in 1971.
To this capsule of a time and place, Marker provides framing context for a French viewers, summarizing the colonial historical past of Chile in a pithy prologue. This sense of a twin perspective permeates the movie: The faint audio of the Spanish interviews mingles with the French dub, like a whispered dialogue, concurrently native and world in its handle.
The First 12 months
Not rated. In French, with subtitles. Working time: 1 hour half-hour. In theaters.