"I will step on the streets again of what Santiago was bloody, and in a beautiful liberated square I will stop to cry for the absent ...". Surely Pablo Milanés could have stepped back on the streets of Santiago de Chile and also remember the dead of repression in a place near La Alameda, but it will probably be another Santiago and the people who inhabit it will now be different.
Santiago. Italy is the latest film by Nanni Moretti, prolific Italian actor, producer and director, from whom we have not been able to appreciate Habemus papam and Mia Madre in Buenos Aires.
Santiago. Italy is a documentary that shows the military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende in 1973, the repression of political leaders and militants, and highlights the exile of those who managed to leave Chile and take refuge in Italy.
Moretti clearly defines his ideology and political position throughout the film. It does not give rise to any doubt: Pinochet's coup has been the political expression of the interests that were at stake to banish any attempt at popular democracy.
The cinematographic story is based on two elements: the archival images of the time of the military coup and the interviews conducted today to those who went into exile in Italy. Not by well-known images of the 70s are less impressive, the military uprising, the bombing of La Moneda, the last radio address of President Allende, the hypothesis of his possible murder, the confinement of prisoners in the National Stadium, torture ... change the reports are current and the testimonies correspond to those who managed to escape thanks to the reception of the Italian Embassy in Santiago.
The vicissitudes lived inside the diplomatic building by the hundreds of people who managed to enter despite military surveillance, waiting for a safe-conduct to leave Chile and the solidarity reception of the Italian people populate the testimonies of refugees who, 45 years later, speak An Italian like the one who has stayed there, they have formed families and are already as Italian as Chileans.
The report made by Moretti to a repressed judge and prisoner marks a moment of high voltage in the film. The man, a military man, not only does not regret anything, but continues to repeat the same postulates of those who carried out the coup and also denies the repression, in any case he recognizes a few "excesses".
As the story progresses and the testimonies realize that world of dreams of the 70s, the world that inherited the French May, the literary boom of Latin America, that of the progressive movements, as all these underlying icons go through the thinking of the viewer, the question inevitably arises in one of the interviewees: What happened to us, what happened next in Italy and the world? Was the mirage of consumption imposed on solidarity with the Other?
Surely Pablo Milanés will no longer step on Santiago itself, which fortunately no longer has its bloody streets.
Santiago. Italy is a good attempt to carry out during its 80 minutes the chronicle of a truncated experience but that left an imprint on the history of Latin America.