This biopic about the hot-blooded Chilean poet and leftist politician Pablo Neruda facing an emerging dictatorship in Chile illuminates the endless struggle between political authority and the creative imagination. In 1948, Neruda is engaged in a rhetorical war with Chile’s president, who is moving from left to right. Neruda and his wife go on the run when the president bans the Communist Party, and they are pursued by a police inspector determined to track down the country’s most famous fugitive. Chile, 2016, 107 minutes, rated R for sexuality, drama
Stay for a discussion (and perhaps a poem) with poet and St. Thomas Aquinas College literature professor Gerald McCarthy.
“Mr. Larraín invites us to believe that history is on the side of the poets and the humanists, and that art will make fools of politicians and policemen. But he is also aware, as Pablo Neruda was, that history sometimes has other plans.” – A. O. Scott, The New York Times
“Surprises always come at the end of Pablo Larraín’s films, when everything suddenly comes together and the audience sits in the cinema feeling both illuminated and floored. Neruda is no different, representing the director at his stunning best with a work of such cleverness and beauty, alongside such power, that it is hard to know how to parcel out praise. – Jay Weissberg, Variety
“Is Neruda a cinematic play, a poem, a biopic? In this near-perfect homage to a literary giant, it’s all open to interpretation.” – Eva Salinas, The Globe and Mail
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