Historical Film Depicts Chilean Struggle

Talynn Soghomonians
El Vaquero Staff Writer

The Association of Latin American Students introduced the painful images of the financially unstable people of Chile in the 1970s through the second film festival feature “Avenue of the Americas” shown on March 27.
The director of the film, Walter Locke, along with his colleagues dedicated the film to the memory of an American leader, Charles Horman, who was well known for his attempts to obtain footage of Chile through his video documentations.

The historical documentary focused on the election of Chilean President Salvador Allende and his strong leadership to guide the country out of debt and misery. The accounts of the politically and socially critical time for Chile were expressed through the words of former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, former CIA agent Philip Agee, Joyce Horman the widow of Charles Horman and the people of Chile.

The film presented changes that occurred throughout the country and the actions Allende took to improve the standard of living by guaranteeing jobs to the unemployed middle and poor classes.

The film said that before Allende was elected, two-thirds of the people of Chile were living on $2 a day. There were 350,000 homeless families and 300,000 unemployed people. Everyone had to be responsible for their own housing, health care and education. According to the statistics in the film, Allende’s political stance on Chile improved as the nationalization of miners took effect in July 1971 and a 57 percent rate of profit was granted for farmers.

The documentary on Chile showed that the good fortune and direction of Chile was quickly halted as United States leaders were rumored to be part of a national sabotage to bring down Allende and his socialist views. The revolution was the cause of death for many and the blood shed by a country that has yet to completely heal.

The last two films will be “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” on Wednesday and “Panama Deception” on April 24. Both features will start at 7 p.m. in Student Center Room 212. Admission is free.