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Neruda (Chilean with English Subtitles)

Pablo Narrain, a Chilean film director who also directed last years ‘Jackie’ released a second film, right around the same time, about the Chilean Nobel-prize winning poet Pablo Neruda. The film starts off with Senator Neruda, a communist, being tossed from the government. The current president has issued a warrant for his arrest. I don’t know a lot about Pablo Neruda (except for some of his poetry that I have read), so I cannot speak to the complete truth of what happens next, but the government hires a detective (played marvelously by Gael Garcia Bernal) to apprehend Neruda. What follows is the most fascinating story. The film is a biopic yet has the look and feel of a film noir. The script is wonderful, and the way it is directed makes it difficult to tell at times who exactly is chasing who. The cinematography is gorgeous, the soundtrack wonderful, and great acting by both leads. The movie is also playful and funny. Huge thumbs up from me for a film that helped me to understand the heart of Neruda (at least who I think he might have been) and what drove his poetry and politics. I am going to be looking for his other films – Jackie was one of my favorite movies, as well as another film, ‘No’, about an advertising executive who devises a psychologically driven advertising campaign to throw Pinochet from power. Great films!!

About Gary Burkholder

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