Image from ‘Machuca’ dir. Andres Wood 2004
In Chile a piece of legislation is progressing through parliament, the Ley Machuca, the Machuca Law, which will make it mandatory for every school, public and/or private, to make a percentage of places available to girls and boys from the shanty towns and slums.
Why Machuca? At the centre of Andres Wood’s vastly successful Machuca is a friendship between a middle-class boy, Gonzalo, and Pedro Machuca, from a shanty town, who meet in Gonzalo’s Catholic private school following Allende’s policy of sending kids from the slums to private schools. Of course, after Pinochet’s coup, Machuca and kids like him were thrown out.
Machuca is one of Chile’s most successful films. In just over a decade since its release it has become a classic and is on the syllabus of most schools, colleges and universities in Chile. It is even included in the UK’s A-level Spanish syllabus. But the Machuca Law is something different. At a time when Politics and Media have become the same thing, Machuca has escaped beyond the media. It promises to influence the lives of thousands of children and their prospects thereafter.
Related blog posts:
Don’t miss Spanish language ‘Machuca’ at National Film Theatre, Southbank, London, September 1
Congratulations to Andrés Wood: Machuca listed as top 20 Latin American film
Mamoun Hassan was on hand to introduce the contemporary classic, Machuca, one of his Spanish language collaborations at the National Film Theatre on Thursday 1 September.
David Somerset, of the BFI, spoke to director Andres Wood live from Santiago de Chile via Skype, with Mamoun on hand, about the development of the script and the filming of this highly acclaimed and influential film. Despite a few technical hitches, the discussion was lively, and gave an insight into the production process and the inspiration behind it.
Special thanks must go to David Somerset, who organised the event, for his cool head when Skype occasionally lost connection with Chile, and for his enthusiastic support over the past years.
Image from ‘Machuca’ dir. Andres Wood 2004
Mamoun Hassan will be on hand to introduce Machuca, one of his Spanish language co-productions at the National Film Theatre next week, Thursday 1 September. It is hoped that a Skype connection will enable him to join David Somerset, who organised the screening, and speak (in English) to director Andres Wood live from Santiago de Chile.
The 2004 film will be shown as part of the education programme of the BFI and coincides with its inclusion as a prescribed film in the Edexcel Spanish A level syllabus from September 2016.
Machuca tells the story of a young Chilean boy and his friends and family during the coup of the 1970s. It is full of period details and features outstanding performances by all the young actors involved. Mamoun co-wrote the script with Andres and is his most successful film to date, winning 10 international Awards including the Political Film Society of the USA’s award for Democracy, 2006.
Mamoun says, “The inclusion of Machuca as a prescribed text alongside works by contemporary Latin American and Spanish 21st century cinema giants such as Walter Salles, Guillermo del Toro and Pedro Almodovar is a feather in the cap of Andres Wood, one of the best directors of his generation”
Making Machuca. The child actors were not professionals
Book tickets at the BFI website https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=C417E2D7-F7C1-46FD-A5E1-4C4C4C09DEF2&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=8D65B755-C1E5-4731-AF8E-DE96062A5FDA
(Free for over 60s)
‘A stunning film’ Film Journal International
‘Machuca’ the 2004 feature I co-wrote and co-produced with Andrés Wood has been selected for the CasAmerica, Madrid season of ‘Twenty great films of Latin American cinema” which celebrates the most notable films of the past 20 years.
I am delighted for Andrés because this lists him up there with the greatest Latin American directors of his generation.
Machuca was my first proper collaboration with Andrés – although I had helped him with the editing on his previous film Loco Fever. Working with Andres was very enjoyable, challenging and educative. Andrés’s next film, La Buena Vida, (my credits: screenplay and co-producer) was less straightforward and the film was affected by the limitations of the budget. Still, it won a Goya amongst many other awards. Our next collaboration has already started. La Lutte Continua:
Machuca will be shown at CasAmerica, Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid on Wednesday, 25 September. For the full listing visit the CasAmerica website. http://www.casamerica.es/cine/20-anos-de-cine-iberoamericano.
Buy Machuca on DVD
Machuca / Chile-Spain-United Kingdom-France 2004 / Directed by Andres Wood. Distributed in the UK by Artificial Eye.
Mamoun has just returned from the FILMS FROM THE SOUTH festival in OSLO
where he accompanied his close friend, co-writer and producer colleague
the leading South American director ANDRES WOOD to showings of his three
Machuca 2004 CHILE Dir. Andres Wood,(co-writer and co-producer Mamoun
La Buena Vida 2008 CHILE Dir. Andres Wood (co-writer and co-producer
Violeta Went to Heaven 2011 CHILE Dir. Andres Wood
Andres’ latest work VIOLETA WENT TO HEAVEN took the World Cinema Jury
Prize at SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2012 and is appearing at this week’s BFI
LONDON FILM FESTIVAL and will be on theatrical release in North America
Mamoun will be attending the Films of the South Festival with Andres Wood in Oslo, 6th -8th October, for the screenings of Machuca, La Buena Vida and Violeta is alive in Heaven.