My Brother and I

This surprising docu begins as a cry for justice by a man whose 13-year-old brother Carlos was one of the youngest victims to disappear under Chilean Gen. Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship. Docu's absorbing multi-voiced investigation into decades-old events should easily find its auds at fests and on public or indie cable.

This continually surprising docu begins as a straightforward cry for justice by a man whose 13-year-old brother Carlos was one of the youngest victims to disappear under Chilean Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. But once pic starts delving into the circumstances of the boy’s arrest, an intimate portrait of a shantytown neighborhood and the quasi-immediate impact of the coup d’etat on its inhabitants develops. Not for those who like their politics dished out simplistically, docu’s absorbing multi-voiced investigation into decades-old events should easily find its auds at fests and on public or indie cable.

The unearthing of Carlos’ remains caps years of searching and reunites what’s left of a family that scattered in the aftermath of his detainment. But interviews with neighbors reveal quite divergent views of the teen, from “spawn of the devil” to high-spirited youngster. Docu also discloses that Carlos’ “vanishing” triggered others on the block, attesting to the infiltration of politics into every crevice of human interaction.

My Brother and I

Chile

Production: An ADOC/Fondart/Fundacion Ford/Parox production. Produced by Eduard Lobos. Directed by Sergio Gandara. Screenplay, Paula Sanchez, Gandara.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Marcelo Alarcon, Mauricio Hartad; editors, Joanna Roachadel, Alicia Scherson; music, Paulo Paranhos. Reviewed on videocassette at Havana Film Festival, New York, March 30, 2003. Spanish dialogue. Running time: 69 MIN.

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