Machuca, a common surname in Chile, meaning “One who is beaten but perseveres,” is also the fitting title of the new film by Chilean-born and NYU schooled filmmaker Andr?©s Woods.
Andr?©s Wood tells a story of class distinction, rift, and social upheaval in this tale of friendship during Chile’s brief socialist period culminating in the events that took place during the military coup in 1973 Santiago, Chile.
Pedro Machuca, played by Ariel Mateluna, is a poor boy who was brought into an upper-class private school in 1973 Santiago, Chile and befriends well-to-do classmate Gonzalo, played by Matias Quer. The characters become immersed in each others lives and view the others personal tragedies and obstacles as well as finding escape through their own friendship.
Pedro’s neighbor Silvana, played by Manuella Martelli, both taunts and fondly follows both boys in their young adventures.
As all the friendships grow the political climate, as well the events that are taking place in their personal lives, worsen. The bridge between both of their worlds crumbles and the events of the day produce a powerful moral challenge for all three children.
Wood explains, in reflection to the perspective of his story that, “Children experience events, but they do not judge. They simply live, and bear witness.”
In conjunction with the release of this film the Avalon Theatre is hosting a weekend of opening events listed below:
Friday, November 18, 8:00 PM: John Dinges, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and author of The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents. Dinges will discuss MACHUCA’s portrayal of the political environment in Chile during the 1970’s.
Sunday, November 20, 3:00 PM: Alex Foxley, Economic counselor at Embassy of Chile and graduate of St. George’s College in Chile (1974-1981), will join Reverend Joe Eldridge, chaplain at American University and co-founder of Washington Office of Latin America, to discuss the role of religion in Chile’s social development during Allende’s democratic rule and then under military dictatorship.