Skip to main content


Chile / Spain / UK / France, 2004 (MIFF 2005, International Panorama)

Director: Andres Wood

Santiago, Chile, 1973. A reserved boy from an upper-middle-class family, Gonzalo is warily edging towards adolescence. But his ordinary hardships, joys and rites of passage are charged with inordinate tension. The country drifts towards civil war as Gonzalo's own family life - tempered by political and personal differences - heads towards disintegration. When his exclusive private school begins offering scholarships to poor indigenous boys, Gonzalo befriends one of the boys, Pedro Machuca, and subsequently Machuca's neighbour, the young girl Silvana. Through their friendships, Gonzalo discovers the thrilling but wildly complicated world outside his own sheltered life. But just as the children begin to get a taste of one another's worlds, the escalating political tensions erupt, capsizing the country and leaving them to face moral tests far beyond their capacities. "There is no separating the personal from the political in [Machuca]. This film's determination to tell a story of profound societal dislocation in intensely human terms favours neither part of the equation... One of those special films that broadens and deepens as it goes on." - LA Times D/P/S Andres Wood P Gerardo Herrero, Mamoun Hassan S Roberto Brodsky, Mamoun Hassan WS Latido L Spanish w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/115mins Andres Wood was born in Chile in 1965. His films include [Loco Fever] (2001), [Revenge] (1999), [Football Stories] (1997).

See also...

ordeal, the

Surreal, demented and freakish, [The Ordeal] has sparked comparisons to the holy triptych of 'survival' horror films: [The Texas Chainsaw Massacre], [Straw Dogs] and [Deliverance]. With an ... More »

last mitteRrand, the

[The Last Mitterrand] is a captivating portrayal of the compelling and complex Francois Mitterrand. Equally, it is a consummate tale of power, idealism, history and memory. ... Rising to power in ... More »


"The films of Todd Solondz rub the grotesque in our faces, the better to see ourselves, my dears... The startling and powerful [Palindromes] casts eight actors to play Aviva, a pregnant ... More »

dias de campo

Following more than three decades in exile, acclaimed Chilean auteur Raul Ruiz returns to his homeland to bring cinema audiences [Dias de Campo]. This film was inspired by two stories from Chilean ... More »


Almost Brothers is an ambitious film by filmmaker Lucia Murat. With the realism of a documentary, she explores the racism bubbling beneath the surface of Brazil's cultural pluralism, and the ... More »

le pont des arts

Eugene Green's [Le Pont de Arts] is a wonderfully staged story of love in the city famed for romance. The film's theatrical spirit shares something with the Absurdists, with existential crises ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director