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I Was, I Am, I Shall Be

  • Film
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Time Out says

Some months after the Chilean coup of September 1973, an East German camera crew managed to obtain permission to visit one of the Pinochet regime's prison camps, a former disused saltpetre mine in the arid desert of northern Chile. But they were able to film only under close surveillance, and the chief interest of I Was, I Am, I Shall Be is the material with which this footage is intercut. Shot mainly before the coup, it places Chatabuco in a historical context, both as mine and as prison camp. The factual testimony of former mineworkers, including a witness of the 1925 massacre at Marusia, makes a striking contrast with the blandly explanatory Pinochet. One shot provides a continual refrain: a prisoner holds up the handle of a miner's spade with the words, 'It was found here and I think it speaks for itself. It can be interpreted in many ways' - a statement whose multiple ambiguities become increasingly clear as the film progresses.
Written by AS

Release Details

  • Duration:71 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Walter Heynowski, Gerhard Scheumann
  • Screenwriter:Walter Heynowski, Gerhard Scheumann
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