The two-time BAFTA Scotland nominated film about the impact of Scottish factory workers against the Chilean dictatorship will be screened this Monday in London.
Extra-juridical executions, systemic torture and forced disappearance are only some of the many human rights abuses that the political opponents of Augusto Pinochet faced during the military dictatorship he imposed from 1973 to 1990. While Chile was transitioning from being a socialist government to become what has been defined as “the neoliberal lab”, around 30,000 opponents became victims of the regime’s violations.
According to the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (Rettig Commission) and the National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture (Valech Commission), 27,255 people were tortured and 2,279 executed. Moreover, around 200,000 people suffered exile and an unknown number went through clandestine centres and illegal detention.
During the military regime, a common method used to disappear political opponents was also to throw them into the sea from helicopters.
This practice became known as the “caravan of death”. During the foray a Chilean army death squad used to regularly fly from the south to the north of the country carrying out the execution of at least 75 individuals.
This Monday, Debasers Filums and Cosmic Cat will screen “Nae pasaran!” a movie documenting the story of factory workers standing against the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
The press office explains that the movie “has been directed and produced by Felipe Bustos Sierra. 40 years after their defiant stand in protest against General Pinochet’s Air Force in Chile, Scottish pensioners discover the incredible outcome of their solidarity”.
They add that is the painstakingly-documented and emotional account of the impact of their action, and for the very first time, the feature film brings in the story of the many Chileans who crossed paths with the jet engines”.
The organizers tell how the story evolves: “in 1974, factory workers at Rolls Royce East Kilbride in Scotland refused to repair and return the military jet engines of Pinochet’s Air Force, in protest against their use during the 11 September 1973 air raid on Santiago. The Chilean coup overthrew Salvador Allende, the first democratically-elected left-wing government in Latin America.”
Bob Fulton, an engine inspector and WWII veteran, put his job on the line to boycott any work on the Chilean jet engines.
Backed by the entire workforce, Bob and his colleagues kept the engines in the factory yard, where they fell prey to the Scottish weather, for four years. One night the engines mysteriously vanished, leaving the workers to believe their actions were meaningless and unaware of the scale of their impact”.
Director & Producer Felipe Bustos Sierra said: “After six years of research and work, I’m delighted that Nae Pasaran! and its story of solidarity, compassion and persistence will be shared with audiences. The visceral reactions and fantastic word-of-mouth after each of our preview screenings highlighted how relevant these stories are today. It’s extra fuel to our fire and Bob, Robert, Stuart, John and myself are looking forward to support the film as it rolls out.”
The press screening of “Nae Pasaran!” will take place today Monday, 29 October, at 11 am. for 11.20 am. at the Soho Screening Rooms, 14 D’Arblay Street, Soho, London, W1F 8DY. The film will be available in the United Kingdom cinemas starting from the 2 November 2018.