“Impunity has fractured Chile”
The intention was to show the tyrant as “a thief” because, he stressed, “absurdly” there are those who believe that “a soldier like him can effectively kill and commit Human Rights violations of any level and magnitude but not steal.”
HAVANA TIMES – Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín premiered his film “El Conde” this Thursday at the Venice Film Festival, a satire in which he portrays the dictator Augusto Pinochet as a vampire to denounce the lack of justice after the dictatorship: “I think the Impunity has fractured Chile,” he said in the presentation.
“Pinochet never faced justice and that impunity made him eternal, it turned him into a vampire,” the director said at the Mostra press conference, in which he competes again for the Golden Lion.
“El Conde” not only portrays the dictator as a bloodthirsty centennial vampire, but also shows him and his dynasty as a greedy thief, precisely when Chile commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the coup against Salvador Allende in 1973.
In addition, seven ex-military officers have recently been convicted of the murder of singer-songwriter Víctor Jara, although one of them committed suicide before being arrested.
“Unfortunately, this case is known, and it comes quite late, but we also know that many of people who committed some of these crimes are free and that the number is much higher than those who have faced legal proceedings,” said Larraín.
And he added: “We don’t know where many of those bodies are, we don’t know who committed those crimes, we don’t know who produced the torture. There are some people who are in jail. I believe that this impunity is what has fractured Chile”.
Larrain, who has already passed through Venice with titles such as “Post Mortem” (2010), “Jackie” (2016) or “Spencer” (2021), defended “the duty” to “portray evil”.
“There are certain people who believe that Pinochet should not be filmed, who believe that his figure should never be filmed or that he is still very recent. I believe that evil can and should be filmed, should be portrayed,” he noted.
In this acid satire Pinochet (Jaime Vadell) and his family, headed by the dictator’s wife Lucía Hiriart (Gloria Münchmeyer), live in a dilapidated house where their children arrive in search of the immense heritage they accumulated during the dictatorship.
The director’s intention was to show the tyrant as “a thief” because, he stressed, “absurdly” there are those who believe that “a soldier like him can effectively kill and commit Human Rights violations of any level and magnitude but not steal.”
“It is something quite dangerous and that is happening today in the world. When a dictator or a person at one extreme, usually on the right, has to retire, that’s when they get crazier and decide to guarantee their pension,” he said.
And he cited the “Riggs Case” as an example, a trial against Pinochet for embezzlement of public funds in a US maze.
Larraín believes that it is “very difficult” to guess the reception of the film in Chile, a “very polarized” country, but he predicts that there will be “enough opinions”, something that he called “healthy”.
And he also compared Pinochet to the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco: “They share the pleasure for evil and little intelligence. They were a bit the buffoons of other power groups who wanted to put them there or support them in this pursuit,” he said.