Friday, June 14, 2013

Art in the New Chile

In a prior post we linked to the audio interview by Eleanor Wachtel with Chilean novelist Alberto Fuguet, who credits Augusto Pinochet with changing the country for the better.  Making it more liberal and open, even allowing a non-politicized art to arise in place of the old--especially the nostalgic 'Magic Realism'.

Following immediately after Fuguet's interview, at the same site, is one with young film maker Sebastian Silva, in which he discusses his 2009 movie, La Nana (The Maid). The story based on his own family's experience with  their long serving domestic. Silva's film nicely illustrates Alberto Fuguet's point.  While Silva pays some lip service to it being about a third world social problem, it really isn't political at all.

Chekhov or Ibsen could have written the script--though it's stylistically different.  The story is about a maid in  upper middle class Santiago who has served one family for over 20 years, getting older and having some medical problems.  The mother in the household realizes that Raquel needs some help coping with a large workload, and brings in another maid to help.  Which Raquel sees as a threat to her position, so she sabotages the women she sees as her possible replacement.

Until one arrives who is strong willed and self-confident enough to defeat Racquel.  Instead of being competitors, they become close friends. The strength of the simple story is in the interpersonal dynamics of a large household. Not at all magical, but realism.  Conventional art, and a refreshing change from the numerous portrayals of Chile as a repressive society.

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