|Directed by||Andrés Wood|
|Produced by||Andrés Wood|
|Written by||Roberto Brodsky
|Music by||Miguel Miranda
José Miguel Tobar
|Cinematography||Miguel Ioann Littin Menz|
|Editing by||Fernando Pardo
|Distributed by||Menemsha Entertainment|
|Running time||121 minutes|
|Box office||$3,187,700 (worldwide)|
Machuca is a 2004 Chilean film written and directed by Andrés Wood. Set in 1973 Santiago during Salvador Allende's socialist government and shortly before General Augusto Pinochet's military coup in 1973, the film tells the story of two friends, one of them the very poor Pedro Machuca who is integrated into the elite school of his friend Gonzalo Infante. The social integration project is headed by the director of the school, Father McEnroe.
The film is dedicated to Father Gerardo Whelan, C.S.C. who from 1969 to 1973 was the director of Colegio Saint George (Saint George's College), the private English-language school in Santiago that the film's director attended as a boy.
Machuca performed well in theaters in Chile, but did not have notable box office success outside of Latin America.
The film is not intended to provide an overview of this period in Chilean history. Rather, it shows the perspective of Gonzalo Infante, a privileged boy who catches a glimpse of the world of the lower class through Machuca, at a moment when the lower classes are politically mobilized, demanding more rights and forcing fundamental change. At the same time the upper middle class, including Gonzalo's own family, grow fearful of the growing socialist movement and plot against the country's elected president, Salvador Allende. Infante's sympathies, however, clearly lie with the poor based on what he has seen.
Gonzalo Infante attends a private school where the principal introduces five new, poor students. Gonzalo becomes friends with Machuca after he refuses to bully him while others in the class pick on Machuca. As the boys grow closer, they experience how each other live. Political unrest grows and political upheaval is imminent.
When the military coup d'état is launched which brutally represses poor and activist Chileans, including his friends and Father McEnroe, his own class status comes into relief. Moments after witnessing the murder of a lower-class young girl named Silvana by soldiers clearing a shantytown, Infante is nearly arrested himself. He pleads with the soldier to recognize that he does not belong to this shantytown. The soldier is only convinced after noticing Gonzalo's blonde hair, pale complexion, more expensive clothing and particularly the branded shoes that Machuca had admired in a previous scene. Thus, Infante is forced to abandon his friend, using his class status as a free pass.
At the end of the film, his family moves into a new, more opulent home. The audience is meant to understand, along with Infante, that this new wealth is connected to the brutal repression of the Chilean masses, who had hoped for real societal change by attempting to create a socialist society.
- Ariel Mateluna as Pedro Machuca
- Matías Quer as Gonzalo Infante
- Manuela Martelli as Silvana
- Ernesto Malbran as Father McEnroe
- Aline Küppenheim as María Luisa Infante
- Federico Luppi as Roberto Ochagavía
Awards and nominations
- "Machuca (2005)". Box Office Mojo. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- "23rd Vancouver International Film Festival Breaks Records" (Press release). Vancouver International Film Festival. 13 October 2004. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Machuca at the Internet Movie Database
- Machuca in Wood Producciones
- Machuca in the Philadelphia Film Festival
- "Chilean movie recalls U.S. priest's presence amid turbulence of coup" 22 November 2005, www.georgiabulletin.org