Socialist Worker

Machuca : where class and classes mix

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 1980

Directed by Andres Wood

Don’t let poor cinema distribution prevent you from seeing this fantastic film. Set in 1970s Chile during the government of Salvador Allende, Machuca is the story of the right wing coup told through the eyes of a group of children.

In Santiago, a school conducts a social experiment by allowing children of different classes to be educated together. Gonzalo, who is from a wealthy family, finds himself sitting together with Pedro, a streetwise kid from the slums.

The school, like the rest of Chilean society, becomes a battleground with the right launching a coup against the radical headmaster.

No film set in Chile during this period could have a happy ending. But Machuca powerfully acclaims those who resist and is a masterpiece of South American cinema.

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Sat 10 Dec 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1980
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