We are delighted to present an 11-film retrospective of Chilean master documentarian Ignacio Agüero online for the first time, in new copies and with new English subtitles, accompanied by one enigmatic film by José Luis Torres Leiva in which Agüero himself is the star.
The world is richer for those who know the work of Ignacio Agüero, a major cinematic artist who has over almost fifty years carved out a distinctive place in the cannon of major Latin American filmmakers. His first appearance in the world of cinema in 1977 showed a young artist fully engaged with the concerns that would define a vast body of work ahead of him—above all the transience of the locales we occupy in the world. Each of Agüero's films are worlds into themselves: habitats into which we step and through which we navigate. A workshop in cinema for young children who have never seen a film. A voyage by boat to transport an iceberg from Antarctica to Seville for the World Fair of 1992. Even his own living room brings countless miracles and surprised. These visions are as varied as the various Chiles in which Agüero has lived and made films, whether under Pinochet's military dictatorship, the new country that appeared after the plebiscite that toppled the junta in 1988, or the democratic Chile of the early 2000s, whose transformation he documents with a painful poetic clarity. Yet Agüero's diverse work has — with a few notable exceptions — been treasured principally within the borders of that continent, where thanks to his own movies and to his work as an actor in films by Raúl Ruiz and José Luis Torres Leiva he remains a beloved figure among cinephiles. In 2016 and 2019, his films I Never Climbed the Provincia and This is the Way I Like It II took the top prizes at one of the key festivals in our Doc Alliance, the prestigious French festival FIDMarseille.
With that precious recognition of this vastly underrated filmmaker in our minds, we are happy to present Agüero's work in its unity online for the first time.
Discussion with Ignacio Agüero (English):
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