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'Machuca', on DVD (2004)

From:     Remi
Category: Films
Date:     17 May 2007
Time:     06:35 PM


Machuca is the name of one of the characters in this homonymous Chilean film set in 1973, the year 
of the coup that placed Pinochet in power. We are aware of these nefarious goings-on but don't need 
to know about them to appreciate the film. 

The action revolves around a rich kid, Gonzalo, who forms an unlikely friendship with a poor kid, 
Pedro Machuca, who is admitted charitably into his private school by the Left-leaning headmaster-
priest. They share each other's lives for a while, standing up for each other, seeing how the other side 
live and competing for the affections of a spirited girl from Machuca's 'barrio' Silvana. 

But, the surrounding political frictions start to affect the characters, from once playing in mocking 
camaraderie, they start to give vent to the physical and verbal tensions they sense around them. This 
conflict ultimately leads to a tragic conclusion, yet I walked away from this with hope and faith, as 
inspired by Silvana's zest for life, dancing and carousing away. You can take away a life, but that 
doesn't mean you've taken their spirit. 

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