Directed by Manuela Martelli
Set during the early days of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, Chile ‘76 builds from quiet character study to gripping suspense thriller as it explores one woman’s precarious flirtation with political engagement. Carmen (Aline Kuppenheim) leads a sheltered upper middle class existence. She heads to her summer house in the off-season to supervise its renovation, while also performing local charitable works through her church. Her husband, children, and grandchildren come back and forth during the winter vacation, bringing reminders of the world beyond. When the family priest asks her to take care of an injured young man he has been sheltering in secret, Carmen is inadvertently drawn into the world of the Chilean political opposition and must face real-world threats she is unprepared to handle, with potentially disastrous consequences for her and her entire family.
"A visually and tonally meticulous exploration of political resistance and conscience."
“Finely controlled and tense with the perpetual promise of violence… [and] a hell of a performance from Küppenheim as the heroine.”
“A gripping psychological thriller … one of the finest Latin American productions to open stateside this year”
“Critic’s Pick! A sly genre exercise, an example of how political repression can squeeze a domestic melodrama until it takes the shape of a spy thriller.”
“Dazzling. What begins as a muted marital melodrama slowly boils into a restrained political thriller, with an ease and skill all the more impressive in a first feature.”
“This searingly intense character study sees a woman questioning her cosy bourgeois lifestyle in Pinochet’s Chile. An invaluable demonstration of feminine revolutionary cinema.”
“Must-Watch! Chile ’76 is the foreign film you’d be ashamed to miss… A period thriller of beguiling power, energized by its portrait of one woman’s heroism.”
“Shrewdly compelling. Aline Kuppenheim is excellent in a film that leverages its genre into an unnervingly timeless study of authoritarianism.”
“The blend of character study, Hitchcockian intrigue and an excellent central performance from Aline Kuppenheim makes for a tensely involving tale."
“Absorbing. Kuppenheim is captivating as Carmen, letting the occasional emotion through a steely facade."
“Martelli’s sure-handed direction makes impressive use of vibrant visuals, evocative sound design, and a meticulously detailed setting.”
Official Selection – Cannes Directors' Fortnight
Official Selection – BFI London Film Festival
Official Selection – San Sebastián International Film Festival