Films are made to communicate important themes in the society, whether encouraging an activity or discouraging another. The directors and actors of the films and documentaries involve the viewers in captivating scenes made to draw attention and communicate a certain objective. Depending on the story being told, there are themes such as education, discoveries, governance, vengeance, entertainment and advocacy among many other thematic purposes. Patricio Guzman has directed and produced many documentaries that have themes intended for communicating certain messages. There are themes such as political moves, terror activities, and governance, the below excerpts and write-ups answer some questions about the Guzman documentaries and movies.
There have been political activities that have not been documented, as “The Black Power Mix Tape” ends where possibilities of some underground black power movements exist without knowledge of many people. The “collage of documents” as Shoals (2012) call it, has several political activities such as king’s assassination, Black power movements, fear and political paranoia. Terror’s Advocate legitimizes the feeling of missed political history where the director narrates a life history of an activist/defender of the deplorable figures (Jacques Verges) who supports villains in the Algerian War of Independence. The missed opportunity in “The Black Power Mixtape” is well legitimatized as the villains act to support the right people, activists fight for independence from colonialists. The true side of political maneuvering is shown after the lawyer returns to support terrorists such as Magdalena Kopp, Anis Naccache and the Gestapo butcher, Klaus Barbie. The opportunity missed in the previous documentary is well-explained by the “Terror’s Advocate”.
How does Terror’s Advocate affect your Sense of what is possible and impossible in Terms of Political Action?
In “Terror’s Advocate”, all political situations can change, for instance, the once oppressed citizens fight the colonialists in Algeria using all means including activism and hunger strikes until they receive independence. Political action can change situations such as colonialism, terrorism activities can also be changed through government crackdown on the perpetrators. People’s stands can change, as did lawyer Jacques Verges, from supporting the anti-colonialists to supporting terrorists. All possibilities can happen under influence of politics, including assassinations (Guzman 2014).
Jacques Verges has the knowledge to defend his clients to the best using the available evidence. Manipulation is rampant with the government officials having the moral capital to manipulate the truths and change them to fit the government objectives. The radical lawyer is charming and playful, but with some level of arrogance that makes him win over some cases (Fantago 2014).
Question B (In Nostalgia for the Light)
What do the protagonists of Guzman’s film illustrate about the Pursuit of Idealistic, Moral, and Political Goals?
People have different objectives for their existence and this can be seen from the movie where astronomers, geologists and archaeologists have different missions to achieve at the Atacama dessert. Every player has passion towards achieving his own goals. As the above three classes of people try to find solutions to their problems, the people of Chile are involved in serious political maiming’s, where ordinary Chileans lose their lives during the Pinochet regime violence. The ordinary citizens want to understand the cause of deaths of their loved ones and their whereabouts. All partners have challenges in getting the past to know the current and the future. It is important to have the past to get the future.
Is there a Practical side to the Search by the Relatives of the Missing for their Loved Ones’ Remains?
As the archaeologists and astronomers, women and orphans search for the bones of their loved ones in the desert without even truces. The traumatic experience of their loved ones being massacred by the dictator is extremely fresh with no practical side to search for them. They dig and search on the deserts to obtain truces without finding any. Their search for answers in the past is not materializing into what they want. There is no practical side to receive what they want, unless they dig the past to obtain some truce. Somehow, they discover the bodies systematically stored.
Their quest is noble with received answers, they can build on the course to control or influence the future. Since the bodies are systematically organized and stored, they can be used as a museum to tell the future generation about the history of dictator Pinochet. There are possibilities of gaining political mileage in ousting and filing legal cases against the perpetrators.
How is Nostalgia for the Light a good film with which to end the course? Explain.
It evokes memories of how bad past can be used to make future better. It presents opinions that are captivating in that past can be useful in making today and future. The artifacts and other discoveries can be used to change the situations and better the society.
The Film (Burn)! What was fiction able to accomplish in terms of political engagement that non-fiction was unable to do?
The film narrates political events in Nicaragua, where political action has power to change the situation. There are other factors such as resources that are used to make political mileages. The case of threatening railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt caused his overthrowing of his government. It is possible for people to act and obtain power as well as individuals can act and seize their dreams or fulfil their objectives (Burn)!