EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|DIALOGUES OF THE EXILED (DIALOGOS DE EXILIADOS) (director/writer: Raul Ruiz; cinematographer: Gilberto Azevedo; editor: Valeria Sarmiento; cast: Francoise Arnoul, Carla Cristi, Daniel Gelin, Sergio Hernandez, Percy Matas; Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Percy Matas/Raul Ruiz; Facets; 1975-France-in Spanish and French with English subtitles)|
minor Ruiz film was the first film on the Chilean exiles."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
director Raul Ruiz ("On Top Of The Whale"/"Three Crowns Of The
Sailor"/"Time Regained"), an exile in France, shot in three-weeks a
low-budget semi-documentary in Paris that was constructed like a play and was inspired from playwright Bertold Brecht's
best school for dialectics is emigration. The most penetrating dialecticians are exiles. There are
changes that have forced them into exile, and they are interested only
in changes. From minute signs they deduce the most fantastic events, on
condition, of course, that they are able to reflect on them. If their
adversaries win the day, the exiles calculate the price that they will
have to pay for that victory, and the contradictions they have
unwittingly brought to light."
Bertold Brecht, Refugee Conversations
film's purpose is to explore what's in store for exiles, which is
glimpsed at through chronicling the conversations Ruiz's
non-professional actors, who happen to be real exiles, have as they go
from house to house visiting each other. The exiles all try to cling
their Chilean roots and customs, but despite their relative comfort
(some live in cramped quarters) reveal how difficult it is to learn a
new language, get a work permit, a job and to blend into French society.
The exiles view themselves as
socialists and chatter about their resistance movement to counter the
rightist military junta under Pinochet, who overthrew with CIA help the
democratically elected government of Chile. They converse about their
kidnapping of Sergio Hernandez, a Chilean pop singer, now in Paris,
without force, who they hope to win over by treating him warmly as a
friend, a fellow Chilean and by feeding him delicious food.
The exiles feel safer in Paris,
where they are among comrades and out of harm's way.
Ruiz in a lighthearted way derives
a wry humor out of prodding them with their foibles, as the film gets
its edge because it's not totally scripted but spontaneous and
unpredictable veering between fiction and documentary.
This minor Ruiz film was the first
film on the Chilean exiles. It was not well-received by the exile
community, who did not like the way some were portrayed on camera as
being corrupt, still holding grudges against their fellow exiles from
their Chilean days, being racist and reactionary. While Ruiz is not
above including himself as one who also must act more bravely to stop
fascism through more provocative dialogue, he can't help laughing at
himself and the others who take themselves so seriously. If nothing
else, it's at least an honest and good-humored take on these particular
exiles, who share many of the same plights as most exiles--who dream of
returning to their native country and can't stop from identifying with
REVIEWED ON 4/30/2010 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ