Arguably Chile’s most internationally renowned and prolific filmmaker, Raúl Ruiz completed over one hundred films in numerous national cinemas. Here's a couple highlights:
Diálogos de exiliados (Dialogues of the Exiles), 1975, Chile/France
In 1974, forced into exile after the violent military coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power, Ruiz fled Chile for Paris. He’d hardly been living there more than a month when he started filming this ironic, thinly fictionalized depiction of the city’s Chilean exile community and its tense rapport with its allies on the French left. Much of Dialogues of the Exiles consists of documentary-style interviews with displaced Chileans and staged conversations in which divisive questions emerge—how should Chilean exiles represent their country abroad? What kind of political engagement can they keep up? How well can they get on with their well-meaning but somewhat clueless French benefactors? The film caused controversy for its sometimes unflattering view of the exile community, but it confirmed Ruiz’s position as a fiercely observant filmmaker with an unsentimental view of the political defeat he and his compatriots had suffered.
La Recta Provincia, Chile/France, 2007
Initially conceived as a television miniseries and seen by many as Ruiz’s late career ode to the country he was forced to leave in the early 1970s, La Recta Provincia delves headlong into Chilean folklore and comes up with a winding, digressive, and schizoid narrative that effectively sets the scene for 2010’s similarly epic Mysteries of Lisbon. The great Belgica Castro stars as a caretaker who, along with her son, discovers a mysterious bone on her estate and sets out to find the rest of the skeleton; these two quickly find themselves caught in a demonic wild goose chase as chilling as it is humorous and constructed with stories within stories.
New York: Dec. 2 - 22 at Lincoln Center. The Film Society is pleased to host Ruiz' wife and collaborator Valeria Sarmiento for Q&As and appearances at screenings throughout opening weekend.