One of the highlights of New Directors/New Films this year is Manuela Martelli’s directorial debut, Chile ’76. It premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors Fortnight section and screened at the BFI London Film Festival, where it picked up Best First Feature. Set in 1976 Chile during Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship, it follows a woman (Aline Kuppenheim) who reluctantly shelters an injured young man who is in hiding. Kino Lorber will release it in NYC on May 5 at IFC Center and Film at Lincoln Center, followed by LA at Laemmle Theaters on May 12.
Here’s an official synopsis:
Set during the early days of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, Chile ‘76 builds from quiet character study to gripping suspense thriller as it explores one woman’s precarious flirtation with political engagement. Carmen (Aline Kuppenheim) leads a sheltered upper-middle-class existence. She heads to her summer house in the off-season to supervise its renovation, while also performing local charitable works through her church. Her husband, children, and grandchildren come back and forth during the winter vacation, bringing reminders of the world beyond. When the family priest asks her to take care of an injured young man he has been sheltering in secret, Carmen is inadvertently drawn into the world of the Chilean political opposition and must face real-world threats she is unprepared to handle, with potentially disastrous consequences for her and her entire family.
See the trailer and poster below.