A PROMISE TO THE DEAD: the exile journey of ariel dorfman

A PROMISE TO THE DEAD: the exile journey of ariel dorfman

    Price: $310.00

    Code: 2330

    Directed by Peter Raymont
    2007, 92 minutes
    Purchase: $310| Classroom Rental: $125

    An exploration of exile, memory and democracy through the words and recollections of world-renowned writer Ariel Dorfman, a member of Salvador Allende's socialist government and witness to the violent coup that ushered in Pinochet's reign. Dorfman is the author of numerous works of fiction, plays and essays in Spanish and English, including "Death and the Maiden" (adapted into a feature film by Roman Polanski starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley), "In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land" and "How to Read Donald Duck."

    Born in Argentina, but raised in New York until his family was exiled to Chile during the Red Scare, Dorfman became Cultural Advisor to Chile's President Allende. When the democratically elected government was toppled in the military coup of September 11, 1973, he was among a handful of Allende's inner circle to survive. Years later, he was told that his life was spared because someone had to live to tell the story.

    Filmed in the U.S., Argentina and Chile, A Promise to the Dead follows Dorfman as he revisits the places of his past. He retraces the steps of a jubilant pro-Allende demonstration and stands before the balcony where, just prior to the coup, he saw Allende saying goodbye to the people. He discusses the frightening extent of domestic espionage under Pinochet and meets with the loved ones of those disappeared. And, most startlingly, as the ex-General lies dying, he faces his mourners and wrestles with what Pinochet's death means for a country living in his shadow.

    Directed by Peter Raymont, who made the unforgettable documentary Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, A Promise to the Dead offers a rare eye-witness account of history from an impassioned writer and activist.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Opening Night Film, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, United Nation’s Association Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2008
    * Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival, 2007


    “A profile in courage. You can read about men and women who stand up to injustice and feel a shuddering admiration. But to absorb a documentary film about such a person is a more intense and potentially life-changing experience.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

    “Highly recommended. This is an invaluable piece of work, in which the audience learns the value of democracy and other such lessons from history, from Dorfman’s close associations with the former government. A highly sophisticated and introspective film.” - Educational Media Reviews Online

    “A powerful, at times unforgettable documentary... It’s utterly compelling and definitely worth seeing. It’s a must see because you learn that it’s about more than Chile. It’s about how the world works.” - The Globe and Mail

    "Eloquent, rapt, poetic... There’s a richness to the images that torpedoes the notion that style and substance need to be exclusive concepts.” – POV Magazine