1976: Chile has been suffering under the right-wing dictatorship of General Pinochet for three years already, but the more well-to-do 49-year-old Carmen has other things to worry about: she has to supervise the renovation of the family’s beach house. While choosing the perfect hue of paint, she hears a gunshot. Later, the local priest, whom she knows from previous charitable work, appeals to her, asking her help with a homeless man called Elias. As it turns out, Elias has a gunshot wound and is a fugitive from Pinochet’s secret police. By agreeing to assist, Carmen becomes involved in Elias’ illegal and hence life-threatening work.
1976 is a perfect showcase of the personal merging with the political, all due to the splendid screenplay and debuting Manuela Martelli’s excellent direction. Aline Küppenheim plays the part of Carmen with gusto. Martelli can be seen at this festival as an actress as well in Machuca.