Why is it that so many highbrow art-house types blabber on and on about Hollywood's infantilization of cinema, yet they ooh and ahh at every new foreign movie about life as seen through the innocent eyes of a child? Set in Chile during the 1973 uprising that followed the death of President Salvador Allende, Machuca deals with the social situation primarily in its last half-hour; the other hour and a half is devoted to the everyday life of young Gonzalo Infante (Matías Quer), a redheaded moppet who looks like a young Danny Bonaduce. When his Catholic school decides to allow poorer kids to attend for free, Gonzalo befriends Pedro Machuca (Ariel Mateluna), a boy from the shack town on the city's outskirts. Meanwhile, in the background, the political situation is becoming combustible. Unfortunately, that doesn't come into play till much later in the movie; before that, we get the usual coming-of-age stuff. Director Andres Wood is probably making the movie primarily for a Chilean audience that knows all the history already.
Director: Andres Wood
Writer: Roberto Brodsky, Mamoun Hassan and Andres Wood
Producer: Gerardo Herrero, Mamoun Hassan and Andres Wood
Cast: Matias Quer, Ariel Mateluna, Manuela Martelli, Aline Kuppenheim and Federico Luppi