After the earthquake, thousands of Chileans had to set about repairing the incredible damage caused by the natural disaster. In the face of this situation, during the days following 27 February a group of local filmmakers captured the stories showing the capacity of Chileans to overcome adversity and used the footage to make a documentary called “La fuerza de la gente” (The strength of the people).
According to its director, Rafael Valdeavellano, a Guatemalan filmmaker established in Chile, the documentary consists of “four stories that happen in four towns devastated by the earthquake and that show the capacity of people to get back on their feet”. The objective was also to show how the aid was distributed by volunteers and organized Chilean groups.
“The idea of this documentary was to seek something that would transcend the catastrophe. We left Santiago on Saturday 6 March, exactly one week after the earthquake, with two goals in mind: the first to look for stories that would exalt that human strength, that will to fight against adversity and overcome it; the second, to find them in relatively unknown places that the media hadn’t covered”, explains the director.
The film is being edited by the independent producer “La Ventana Cine”, and its production is assisted by Chilean journalists Carola Fuentes, José Manuel Loyola and Trinidad Noguera.
In terms of the filming of the documentary, the team was able to gather material in the midst of the destruction caused by the mega-earthquake. These scenarios enabled them to appreciate the fighting spirit of the Chilean people and their will to move forward.
“The reactions of the Chileans portrayed in this documentary, in the face of the huge catastrophe, are extraordinary. They show solidarity, support and above all strength. The greatest virtues of the Chilean people are apparent in this documentary: their ability to organize themselves, rise to their feet, show empathy, a great will to help and above all an unshakeable certainty that they will overcome”, states Valdeavellano.
The production covers personal accounts and experiences of Chileans after the catastrophe and its filmmakers now are in the process of finding post-production funding. However, one of the four stories told in the documentary was published on the website of the U.S. television program Frontline World.
This post is also available in Spanish