Daily | Cannes 2015 | The First L’Oeil d’Or

'Beyond My Grandfather Allende'

‘Beyond My Grandfather Allende’

Marcia Tambutti Allende’s Beyond My Grandfather Allende has won “Cannes’ first L’Oeil d’Or, awarded to its best documentary,” reports Variety‘s John Hopewell. In all, fifteen films were in the running. This first feature “portrays her grandfather, Chilean president Salvador Allende, not as a political icon but in personal terms, as a family man, with his friends, on holiday, ‘relating in a special way with almost everyone,’ Tambutti told Variety before Cannes.”

Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter: “Almost 42 years have passed since a military coup d’etat in Chile deposed the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende, leading to his suicide while the presidential palace of La Moneda was being bombed, and then 17 long years of violent dictatorship. The facts have been extensively documented, most notably by Patricio Guzman in his riveting 2004 biographical documentary. Are there still stones to overturn?” Marcia Tambutti Allende, “a biologist with no previous film experience, felt there was still a very personal angle that had never been openly discussed, not even in her own family.” Her doc “is the result of eight years of research into the personal life of ‘Chicho,’ as his family called him. As she discovered, he is practically a taboo subject for her grandmother, Allende’s widow, until the director’s patience coaxes out some buried emotions…. The portrait of Allende-the-man that emerges is one of a loving and lovable patriarch who lived for politics more than for his family.”

“In journalism, when sources prove either uncooperative or unavailable,” notes Variety‘s Peter Debruge, “reporters typically resort to what is known as a ‘write-around,’ making do with whatever access then can get, and then being as formally inventive as possible to make the profile interesting. For cinematic inspiration, the director might have turned to any number of innovative family memoirs, among them Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation and Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, but instead defaults to a relatively mundane, straightforward approach.”

Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words

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Stig Bjorkman’s Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words, screening in Cannes Classics, has earned a mention. Once again, Deborah Young: “One of Hollywood’s most radiant and beloved European imports, Ingrid Bergman seems more of an icon with every passing year; she is, in fact, the poster girl of Cannes 2015 and her dazzling smile appears more modern than ever.” Bjorkman’s doc “is celebratory and revelatory, making extensive use of Bergman’s own diaries, personal pictures, home movies, and family members (it was daughter Isabella Rossellini who first suggested he make the film.) The portrait that emerges is intimate… A romantic score by Michael Nyman completes this very appealing if non-critical bio.”

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