The Final Day of Salvador Allende


Length: 80 min
Format: 35 mm, Digi Beta
Language: German, Spanish, English (subtitles)
Directed by: Michael Trabitzsch
DoP: Bernd Meiners
Co-producer: RBB
TV co-producer: ZDF, 3sat
Year: 2005
Film subsidy: Nordmedia, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg
Distributors: Piffl-Medien
Worldsales: Goethe Institut; united docs; Medienboard; Nordmedia; Media

When, on 1st September 1973, Salvador Allende the elected president of Chile, shoots himself, an experiment symbolising the spirit of a whole epoch comes to an end. Allende’s aim was to reconcile socialism and democracy in the interests of progress for the underdeveloped countries.
It is December 1972 in New York. In one of the greatest speeches of the twentieth century Salvador Allende sues for the right of self-determination before the United Nations Assembly and accuses the Nixon government of an ongoing conspiracy and sabotage against his country. It is the image of the eternal David battling the arrogant and power-hungry Goliath.
The public responds with standing ovations, but many know that Allende’s days are numbered:

the Chilean experiment must not be allowed to become a model, it must not be allowed to succeed. And indeed, since his electoral victory on 4th of September 1970, a fine web of conspiracy, bribery and sabotage is being spun. A mosaic with changing protagonists: genuine right-wing terrorists, army officers preparing for a putsch, secret service activities and, behind the scenes, money-smuggling and political pressure. Did Allende ever stand a chance…?
The film allows Salvador Allende’s surviving “companions” to talk about the last hours before his death on 11th September 1973. Step by step, an epoch in image and sound is recalled, one that only survived 1,000 days, but, to this day, remains unforgotten.

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