On September 11th, 1973, members of the armed forces launched an attack on the Casa de la Moneda, the presidential palace occupied by Salvador Allende, and carried out a coup d'état, which established the bloody dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, which lasted for 17 years, until March 11th, 1990. A dramatic event that put an end to the political experience of Unidad Popolar and the hope of building a non-authoritarian "Chilean socialism" within the framework of constitutional legality.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the coup that forever changed the political life of Chile, and not only. The Tor Bella Monaca Theatre, part of the Teatri in Comune di Roma Capitale - Assessorato alla Cultura system, with the management coordination of Zètema Progetto Cultura, and Helikonia, always careful to promote events of great cultural importance, organized three days of events to remember this tragic moment. The creation of events dedicated to Chile, full of film screenings, and the great concert of the Inti-Illimani Historicos, are proof of the sensitivity to a programming attentive to world historical memory.
The coup d'état that on September 11th, 1973 led to the death of Salvador Allende, and the suspension of Chilean democratic institutions, represented an extremely strong passage also for Italian society, which was deeply shocked by the black hole of violence and repression that hit that country. Italy stood resolutely in favour of the fleeing people and opened its doors to all those seeking asylum. Fifty years later, the goal is to remember; not to forget and pay tribute to all those who fought for freedom and democracy.
In addition, through Chile told by Cinema, a marathon of films that had the intent to tell about this wonderful country. "Santiago Italia" by Nanni Moretti; "Chile- My imaginary country" directed by Patricio Guzman; "Un bastardo e l'eredità di Pinochet" by Pepe Rovano, presented in a national preview in Rome, and finally "Maglietta rossa" by Mimmo Calopresti. To conclude, the spotlight is on the Summer Arena of the Tor Bella Monaca Theater, a magnificent location, where we attended the performance of the most interesting musical band that Latin America has produced: the Inti-Illimani Historicos.
The group, born in 2004, at the hands of three historical exponents of the Inti-Illimani – as well as one of the most famous musical groups in the world, created in 1967 – Horacio Salinas (musical director of the group since 1968 and main composer of many of their emblematic songs), José Seves and Horacio Duran. They are the authors of the historical vinyls, true milestones that have marked the long and fruitful life of the legendary group, which spent for several years in exile in Italy.
"It is truly a great honour and a great responsibility for me to have the Inti-Illimani Historicos guests on such an important day for the history of Chile and the world. A historical group that could remember these events anywhere in the world. We immediately shared Helikonia's proposal to have the group in our city, in our theatre. Our only goal is to reflect together, after half a century, on a historical event that had a very strong impact all over the world, causing a social and cultural change, undermining the democracy of that country," says the director of the theatre, Alessandro Benvenuti.
"On behalf of the Chilean Embassy, I thank the Councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Rome, the President of the Capitoline Assembly, the Tor Bella Monaca Theatre, and Helikonia for this important initiative aimed at commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the coup d'état in Chile. Italy's solidarity with our country has been expressed since the very day, September 11, 1973, when the democratic process was interrupted and Chile entered a spiral of hatred and violence that lasted seventeen years. It is essential that the younger generations do not forget," explains Patricia Mayorga, press officer of the Chilean Embassy.