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Chile, 1969 (MIFF 1971, Programme 16)

Director: Miguel Littin

One of Chile's most notorious crimes provides the subject matter for The Jackal of Nahueltoro.

When Jose del Carmen Valenzuela, an illiterate peasant, killed a woman and her five children, the press nicknamed him "Jackal of Nahueltoro".

Valenzuela was apprehended, judged and sentenced to death for the murders. In jail he learned to read and write, was taught a trade, and became cognisant of society's moral and religious values.

Superstition and poverty, together with Latin America's chronic underdevelopment, are brought face to face with society's official values as the wheels of justice fail to keep pace with Valenzuela's rehabilitation.

Rather than preach any particular moral premise directly, the film allows the results of extensive research into the background of the crime and the criminal to speak for themselves.

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