Homage - Community - Protest: Three Short Films on Chile

Three glimpses of Chile in 2011. Originally made as a video blog for The New Statesmen, "3 Short Films About Chile" is a trilogy that hinges around the recent momentous student protest movement; the occupations, marches, demonstrations, street actions and web activism and its tremendous impact on the country's political life, as they denounce the most highly privatised education system in the world, and demand the return of free public education.

Homage - Community - Protest: Three Short Films About Chile
A video trilogy
1 Homage /2 Community /3 Protest
Michael Chanan, 2012
Duration: 34mins

Three glimpses of Chile in 2011. This is Chile nearly four decades after the military coup of 1973, twenty-one years after the restoration of parliamentary democracy in 1990, when seventeen years of grim and stagnant dictatorship gave way to unprecedented growth under neoliberal doctrines imported from Chicago and implanted on the orders of General Pinochet.

Homage celebrates A Valparaíso, the film that Joris Ivens made in 1962. But today most of the famous cable cars no longer function, but some of them are poised to be handed over to private companies to bring them back into service: neoliberalism by the municipal back door.

Community is a portrait of Poblacian La Victoria and its community television station, Señal 3. The very model of a neighbourhood television channel, whose origins go back to 1979, Señal 3 is officially illegal but is also the hub of a free communication network which includes a local intranet.

Protest is an account of the momentous student protest movement - the occupations, marches, demonstrations, street actions and web activism which began in May 2011, and its tremendous impact on the country's political life, as they denounce the most highly privatised education system in the world, demand the return of free public education, and question the legitimacy of actually existing democracy in Chile.

The protests are directed against one of the legacies of the neoliberal regime introduced under Pinochet during the 1980s, a privatised education system whose expansion over the last twenty years has been financed by growing student debt. An observer from England can only ask if this is not the future for education that the Coalition Government in Westminster dreams of? Is this what happens when you turn education into a business? Essential viewing for anyone concerned with the future of schools and universities in Britain under the plans laid in by the Coalition Government.

Protest originally appeared as a video blog on the New Statesman.
For the background, see 'The Persistence of Allendes Vision' at Putney Debater (www.putneydebater.com)

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