Limitless Cinema in Broken English

April 7, 2010

THE PINOCHET CASE (2001, Patricio Guzmán, A+++++)

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:58 pm

This is my comment in Girish Shambu’s blog:
http://www.girishshambu.com/blog/2010/04/small-striking-moments.html

My favorite small, striking moment is in THE PINOCHET CASE (2001, Patricio Guzmán). It’s the scene in which we see rocks falling down from a mountain. This scene occurs after the viewers have heard a lot of things about the cruelty of Pinochet. This rock-falling scene made me cry and I don’t know why. I don’t think Guzmán intends to make the audience weep with this scene. I also don’t understand the importance and the meaning of this scene. This scene is not obviously connected to the story. It doesn’t give any information about Pinochet at all. If the scene is excluded from the film, all the “content” in the film is still intact. This scene may have some symbolic meanings, but I don’t understand it at all. However, it is this small, insignificant scene which (unintentionally) made me cry and makes me love this film very much. I’m not sure why I cried, but I think it may be because while I was listening to the various testimonies about the horror in Chile in the other scenes, I had to “think”, rather than “feel”. But while I was watching rocks falling down from a mountain, I didn’t have to “think”. My mind or my brain could rest. That’s why all the sad feelings I had accumulated from the previous scenes rose up inside me and made me break down in tears.

This deviation from the storytelling in THE PINOCHET CASE unintentionally makes me think about the can-kicking scene in CLOSE-UP (1990, Abbas Kiarostami), though I think both scenes function very differently, or touch my feelings in very different spots.

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