The military government spanned a period that marked many Chileans. This is why it has been the source of multiple stories that have come to light in diverse forms: literature, music and also audiovisual creations. This is the case of “La Quemadura” (The Burn), a film that has stood out as one of the most interesting ones being screened at the Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI), a competition that is being held in the Argentine capital.
The film was released a few weeks ago at the Festival Cinema du Reel in France and is the only one representing Chile at the BAFICI. The work competes against films from 18 countries for the best director, best film, and best actor or actress awards, as well as a special prize awarded by the jury.
In the documentary the Chilean director René Ballesteros tells the story of his mother, who disappeared during the dictatorship 26 years ago. It is filmed from the perspective of René and his sister Karin, who at the age of almost 30 are attempting to discover the true reason for their mother’s strange disappearance.
The film also makes many references to the Chilean publishing house Quimantú, which was born as a project ofSalvador Allende’s Unidad Popular government to make literature more accessible to vulnerable sectors of society. However, its books were burned after the coup d’etat, and few the few copies that remain add to Ballesteros’s story, which uses them to understand the past.
Regarding the BAFICI, it is one of the most highly valued showcases in Latin America for the promotion of independent cinema.