Alisson Larrea’s documentary focuses on the life of Felix Mora, who was a teenage member of Chile’s Socialist Youth movement in the early 1970s. Following the 1973 coup that brought the Pinochet junta to power, Mora was arrested and tortured by Chilean military forces. After a year of incarceration – including a term of near-starvation at the Victor Jara Stadium in Santiago – Mora developed typhus and was placed under house arrest. He managed to gain entry to the Italian Embassy in 1974 and, after three weeks, left his country for an exile in Rome. He later settled in Canada, where he became a human rights activist.
After the fall of Pinochet, Mora returned to a Chile that he barely recognized. Mora, joined by his family and fellow political prisoner Jorge Aro (who was also jailed as a teenager), painfully yet eloquently recalls the events of Pinochet’s Chile.
The film calls into question why the Chilean people were so long in rebelling against the dictatorship, and it also details how the world looked upon the Chilean human rights abuses of that era. Mora offers anecdote of how the Victor Jara Stadium’s prisoners were hidden from site when FIFA World Cup officials toured the facility.
From a style perspective, Larrea’s technique is somewhat stiff and limited – the talking head approach becomes visually dull at times. But from a substance perspective, Mora’s story is compelling and heartbreaking, and his experiences need to be heard.