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As I try and find new things to watch and inspire in this time of enforced couch surfing, I start to worry that I’ve reached the end of the internet. Or at least the end of Netflix.
While chatting to one of my amigos in Chile about my plight, she recommended some Chilean films to watch. Being the sharing, caring type, I thought I’d pass these recommendations on to you just in case you’ve also scrolled to the end of the internet in the ‘age of isolation.’
With the world’s driest desert, 4,000 kilometers of coastline, 16 wine valleys, thousand-year-old glaciers, and magical islands, always dramatic Chile offers the perfect backdrop to just about any film. This is no secret to us here at Goway!
Here are 10 movies about Chile that not only showcase outstanding acting and a number of important social issues, but also use aesthetics and art to paint a masterful portrait of Chile’s natural beauty. Enjoy that enforced spare time with these films, get inspired about Chile, and maybe start plant the seed for that next trip. When it’s safe for us all to leave our couches, Chile will be waiting.
1.- Neruda (2016): This movie by director Pablo Larraín tells the fictional-historical story of a policeman who obsessively pursues the Chilean Nobel Prize winner, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his own country after the president orders his arrest.
The film is truly a look at the lesser known side of Neruda, and a trip through the different landscapes of Chile, including the beautiful lookout points over the port city of Valparaiso, and the snowy thousand-year-old forests of La Araucania.
Start your adventure here: https://bit.ly/2WToyzL
2.- A Fantastic Woman (2017): The work of director Sebastián Lelio, A Fantastic Woman won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. It tells the story of Marina, a young trans woman who, after witnessing the sudden death of her boyfriend Orlando, is forced to grieve while facing the prejudices of his family and society.
The movie is mostly set in Santiago, showing places that are representative of the local urban culture and tourism icons. If you are planning to visit the Chilean capital city, we recommend following in Marina’s footsteps, visiting the bar of a Santiago hotel, the hidden restaurants in downtown Santiago, and watching the sunset from the bridges in Providencia over the Mapocho River. But please don’t jump up and down on the roofs of any cars.
Enjoy the show here: https://bit.ly/2QYJilQ
3.- Princess (2017): This movie by Marialy Rivas tells the story of a 12-year-old girl, Tamara, who lives in a religious cult and has been selected by Miguel, its leader, to produce his heir.
The film was shot in and around the city of Puerto Varas, showing off the generous landscapes of the abundant native flora and fauna, and the beautiful backdrop of magnificent Lake Llanquihue.
The movie here: https://bit.ly/3bxWQfW
4.- And Suddenly the Dawn (2017): A movie by the acclaimed director Silvio Caiozzi tells us about a frustrated older writer’s return to his birthplace in Chilean Patagonia, after being away for 40 years. Upon his return, he is forced to face his past and, for the first time, create a novel in which he, his loved ones and his friends will be the leading characters.
A truly pleasant trip to the bottom of the world through this entertaining history! The real star of course is the mysterious green landscape of the Chilean Patagonia!
Start your trip here: https://bit.ly/39rqwdd
5.- Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus (2013): Everyone loves the Atacama Desert! And director Sebastián Silva makes that clear. The movie tells us about a young American who visits Chile for the purpose of trying a hallucinogenic cactus called San Pedro, found in the north of the country. During his adventure he meets Crystal, a young woman from San Francisco who will join him.
This film shows the immensity and magic of the breathtaking Atacama Desert.
Press play here: https://bit.ly/3bxX5aQ
6.- Violeta Went to Heaven (2011): A dramatic film by director Andrés Wood, which offers us a portrait of famous Chilean artist and folk singer, Violeta Parra, taking us from her childhood to the day of her death, and covering every facet of her music, memories, lovers and artwork.
Based on the book by Angel Parra, the movie takes a tour through the Chilean countryside, its customs and traditions, and offers an unforgettable stroll through bohemian Santiago. A must-see for those who love good photography and the work of this great Chilean artist.
Enjoy the movie here: https://bit.ly/39nHwBi
7.- Lost North (2017): By director Fernando Lavanderos, this road movie tells the story of Esteban, a young romantic who travels the road to the north of Chile following in the footsteps of his beloved Isabel. Along the way, he stops in different villages and meets different people, detouring him from his initial objective.
This film an entertaining tour through the north of Chile, where you can observe its amazing desert and oasis landscapes, while also learning about the daily lives of its inhabitants.
Watch it here: https://bit.ly/39uNVKM
8.- Ema (2019): This movie by Pablo Larraín tells the story of a couple, Ema and Gaston, both dancers, who decide to return their adopted son, after recognizing that they are in over their heads. Unhappy and regretting their decision, Ema comes up with a plan to get him back.
The plot takes place in Valparaiso, the cultural capital of Chile, using its colorful hills, traditional public funiculars and attractive bohemian nightlife as the main backdrop, confirming just how fascinating and vibrant this city is.
Watch the trailer here: https://bit.ly/2UHUh4k
9.- Cielo (2017): This film by director Alison McAlpine, is a documentary that shares the perspectives of planet hunters who come to the astronomy observatories in the Atacama Desert, and narrates part of the life of the desert dwellers and workers. Keeping its eye on the stars, the film invites us to ponder the infinite and unknown.
The movie has an incredible cinematography that shows the clearness of the Chilean skies, a true window to the universe. This is a must-see for astrotourism lovers.
Watch it here: https://bit.ly/2ycx6HF
10.- Bailes Chinos (2012): Created by Rafael Contreras Mühlenbrock and Daniel González Hernández, this is a touching documentary on the religious festivities held in different parts of the north of Chile around the image of the virgin.
In just 10 minutes, you can observe this important tradition that fills the local desert landscapes with color, joy and music.
See it here: https://bit.ly/2w42ebQ
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