Chile: el cine exiliado

Otro 11 de septiembre, el de 1973, prólogo a una amarga saga de exilios. Fotograma de la trilogía “La Batalla de Chile”, Patricio Guzmán, 1975-1979.

Otro 11 de septiembre, el de 1973, prólogo a una amarga saga de exilios. Fotograma de la trilogía “La Batalla de Chile”, Patricio Guzmán, 1975-1979.

Preciso empezar con una pregunta: ¿Qué es lo que hace chileno al cine chileno? ¿Qué hace sueco al sueco, libanés al libanés, ruso al ruso, mexicano al mexicano? Imagine usted que camina por Santiago intentando responderse la cuestión, y pregunta usted a un productor, que afirmará que lo que hace chileno al cine es la inversión de dinero netamente patrio en el filme dicho. Pregunte usted a un cineasta, que afirmará que eso depende del origen nativo del autor, sea lo que sea que esa idea, autor, le signifique. Pregunte usted ahora a un guionista, que podrá decirle que mucho depende del idioma en que esté escrito, de las condiciones de locación, del lugar donde se desarrolla el argumento y el entorno de lo que ahí sucede. Pero pregunte usted al espectador que va saliendo de la sala, al que busca un DVD, al que revisa la cartelera, y encontrará la respuesta menos sectaria, la más sensata: El cine chileno es el que me habla de mí mismo y de Chile. Y basta. Eso valdría, digo yo, para cualquier cine del mundo, por encima de dineros, autorías o locaciones. ¿O es que tiene patria la imagen?

Si hablamos aquí de Chile y no de otro caso más reconocible en el mapa de la América audiovisual es precisamente porque es aquel país el que exhibe una de las condiciones más interesantes (también menos conocidas) en su desarrollo durante las últimas décadas: El del cine nacido en el exilio.

Mientras que otros cines hispanos de calidad, como España o Argentina, lograron germinar en suelo propio bajo la sombra y a contracorriente de dictaduras a cual más áspera, los cineastas chilenos a partir de 1973 optaron por una dolorosa diáspora que poco tenía de cobarde, pues si se fueron no fue para batirse en retirada sino para regar por el mundo (con celuloide extranjero, con cámaras extranjeras, sí) la noticia de lo que ahí dentro pasaba: El horror silencioso, el infierno en medio de la calma, del buenos días, de lo normal.

“Nunca”, dice Luis Horta, cineasta, restaurador fílmico de la Universidad de Santiago, “nunca se hicieron tantas películas chilenas como entre 1973 y 1990 (el período de la dictadura)”. Curioso pensar que de entre ellas, ni cuatro se hicieran, siendo estrictos, en Chile. Conocido es el caso del recién fallecido Raúl Ruíz, quien desde el exilio francés se dedicó a entretejer una de las obras más dilatadas, multifacéticas y arriesgadas del cine de autor, más de 200 trabajos que pasan por el video, el montaje fotográfico, los 8, 16 o 35 mm, el documental, la ficción, el abstracto o lo que no cabe en ninguno  de los tres, una obra de interés creciente a partir de un número especial que Cahiers de Cinéma le dedicara en 1983.

Conocido también es el caso de los otros dos chilenos del mundo, documentalistas ellos, Patricio Guzmán y Miguel Littín, quienes a diferencia de los vuelos experimentales de Ruíz eligieron la firme claridad discursiva del documental político para difundir seriales de altísima calidad formal, el legendario tríptico “La Batalla de Chile”, de Guzmán, y las casi cinco horas de la Acta General de Chile filmada por Littín, esta última con un inmejorable making-of escrito por “el Gabo” García Márquez como La Aventura de Miguel Littín, clandestino en Chile. Léalo usted, incluso si no le interesa el tema, incluso si no le interesa García Márquez.

Pero si alguien me pregunta a mí qué es lo que, de entre todo esto, encuentro más interesante, hablaría de un fenómeno conmovedor, yo diría inédito, en la historia de las coproducciones: un cine epistolar filmado en formato de cartas, de confesiones, de memorias o de mero documental, filmado por chilenos exiliados en puntos como Suecia, Finlandia o Mozambique,  pero financiado, producido y distribuido por aquellos países de acogida, en un gesto de decidida solidaridad.

De modo que tenemos cintas (hoy tristemente inconseguibles) habladas en sueco o con el paisaje de Helsinki o la llanura africana,  producidas con toda la agrura del exilio, de la nostalgia de cineastas arrancados de la familia, los lugares y el idioma pero que parten hacia el mundo a hacer cine sobre Chile y sobre el exilio. ¿Es esto hablar de cine chileno? La pregunta no es retórica ni mucho menos. Dejo al lector toda la libertad de respuesta.

En el otro lado del juego están los que (las razones sean de cada quien) decidieron quedarse. Ahí, durante la década de 1980 y con el impulso del video doméstico, se realiza sin tregua un documental urgente, apresurado, clandestino, que va saliendo del país poco a poco como la carta en la botella que un prisionero lanza al mar, soñando con alguna clase de respuesta. Documentalistas que salen a la calle con una cámara como quien sale con una granada sin seguro. Pedro Chaskel, Helvio Soto o Ignacio Agüero tienen, por supuesto, que hacerlo de forma anónima, sin firmar nada o haciéndolo bajo seudónimo. “Lo importante era hacer cine”, apunta Horta, “sin importar quién lo hiciera. Ese es uno de los cuestionamientos más importantes que puedan hacerse a la idea del autor.”

Hoy, veinte años después, el cine chileno aprieta el paso para alcanzar a otras cinematografías hispanas en la formación de una industria, empieza a alzar la mano con cierta timidez en festivales internacionales, consigue alguna que otra exportación a otros países, es capaz de generar una revista de sólido interés como R7A: Revista Séptimo Arte (www.r7a.com). Nombres como Larraín, Wood o Bize podrán sonar vagamente conocidos al cinéfilo actual, quien tendrá en alguna estima a Machuca, La Nana o La Frontera, pero habrá que empezar a pagar la deuda que tenemos como hispanos, como latinos, con aquel otro cine, ese que no nos podemos dar el lujo de olvidar.

¿Qué es lo que hace chileno al cine chileno? Preguntemos otra vez. ¿Qué es aquello tan juguetón que le otorga nacionalidad a una imagen, como si la vista tuviera cartilla, como si el sonido tuviera pasaporte? ¿No será, acaso, que las sucesivas crisis del cine mexicano tienen una raíz ahí, en pensarse como mexicano y no, a lo mucho, como hecho en México? Eso, por supuesto, ya es desviar el rumbo de nuestro texto hacia otro cauce, uno bastante amplio. Aunque no estaría de más.

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