Chile,  South America,  Culture

A lot of masterpieces! Introduction of South American and Chilean movies available in Japan

Hi there, it's Minami.

Have you ever seen a Chilean movie?

Surprisingly, there are many Chilean films that have been made with Japanese subtitles.

And surprisingly, the representative Chilean films with Japanese subtitles are all good ones.

Another common refrain for Spanish learners is that "Spanish is hard to learn in Chile"...

What's Spanish in Chile like? But it's hard to create an environment where you can listen to it right away, isn't it? That's where movies come in.

By the way, I'd like to know more about Chile while I'm listening to Chilean Spanish.

When it comes to Chilean history, if you know, of course, it's the Pinochet dictatorship, but it's not the only one. We're going to take a look at some of the most famous and deepest ones!

I would like to introduce you to a film that will help you learn everything from the history of Chile to its society.

Would you like to hear some Spanish in Chile?

There are many things you can watch on demand, including Amapla, so please get to know them here.


(Director: Pablo Larraín 2012)


1988, Chile, South America. International criticism of the long-standing military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet is mounting, and it is decided to hold a referendum on the merits of extending Pinochet's credentials. A major campaign battle ensues between the yes camp of Pinochet's supporters and the no camp of Pinochet's opponents, who launch a series of 15-minute TV commercials a day. Rene (Gael Garcia Bernal), a young ad man hired by the "No" camp, confronts the powerful forces of the pro-opposition camp with an audacious, innovative and humorous idea, and the fierce media battle unfolds. ......


 It's still the first film that will come up when you think of Chilean films. It's interesting that the main character, Gael Garcia Bernal, is Mexican but he takes care to speak very much like a Chilean.

This is a story about a particularly important event in Chilean history, a time of dictatorship, so it will help you to understand Chile better, and it's a complete film, and I would recommend it to many people. I would recommend this film to many people. It is a very well known Chilean film.


(Dir: Andres Wood, 2004)


Set against the backdrop of Chilean society in the turbulent seventies, this coming-of-age film presents a fresh depiction of the friendship between two boys born into wealthy and poor families in Santiago, Chile in 1973. Gonzalo, who lives in an affluent neighborhood, and Pedro, who lives in a favela, form a friendship under the tutelage of Father McEnroe, an idealistic schoolmaster.


This is a work of Pinochet's dictatorship that does not appeal too much to violence among many others. What was life like for ordinary citizens under the dictatorship? This is one of the most interesting works about

The children are the main characters, so you get a third-person perspective.

Pearly buttons (El botón de nácar)

(Produced by France, Chile and Spain)


Western Patagonia, located in southern Chile, is the world's largest archipelago of countless islands, reefs and fjords and its oceanic coastline, once inhabited by indigenous peoples who revered the water and stars as symbols of life. Buttons found on the seabed connect the history of the genocide of indigenous peoples by the colonizers and the victims thrown into the sea under the Pinochet dictatorship. The button at the bottom of the sea unravels the history of the many bloodshed in Chile's supernatural landscapes of volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. ......


A button found on the seabed of Western Patagonia in Chile unravels the history of indigenous genocide and the victims killed under the Pinochet dictatorship.

Did you know that there are indigenous people in Chile? If you've never been to Chile, you won't have a chance to know about it.

The Mapuche are the most representative of Chile's indigenous peoples, but this film focuses on the Selkman and other minority peoples of southern Chile. The history of indigenous peoples has had a great impact on the lives of Chileans today, and there are very few films that tell you about them in Japanese.

Nostalgia of Light (Nostalgia de la luz)

(Produced by France, Chile and Spain)


The Atacama Desert in Chile. At an altitude of 3,000 meters, the air is dry and astronomers from all over the world flock here to observe the heavens. At the same time, however, it was also a place of oppression under Pinochet's military regime, where the bodies of political prisoners were buried. While astronomers search for the origin of life in a distant galaxy, women dig up the desert in search of the remains of their relatives who have gone missing. Astronomical time, which seems like an eternity, intersects with the halted time of the bereaved families who lost their loved ones under the dictatorship. ......


This is the follow-up to "Pearl Buttons" introduced above. Although Button of Pearls was mainly about the south of Chile, this one is mainly about the desert in the north of Chile. It's a very interesting film that tells about life in the camps. In this film, you can hear the voices of those who were affected by the dictatorship in person.

Young and Wild (Joven y alocada)

(Dir: Mary Rivas Production year 2012)


A sensual drama about a girl's repressed sexual awakening, 17-year-old Daniela is curious about sex, but her family is a strict Christian family. One day, Daniela's mother, who has been keeping a close eye on her behavior, escalates her interference when it is discovered that she has had sex with a classmate on campus.


The title of the film is "Daniela: The Instincts of a 17-Year-Old", which sounds like a sensual film, but the actual title is "joven y alocada", which in English is "young and wild", which is more in line with the reality of the film. The synopsis says it's a sensual film, but I think it's socially conscious.

The Japanese title is more like to make people start watching , but I hope this is a good way to get more people exposed to Chilean films...

The introduction is written like a sensual film, but in reality it is the story of one girl who is struggling between religion and sex. This is one person's story based on a more social background than I expected.

What a true story, apparently, it's about a high school girl in Chile who blogs about her experiences with sex and the fluctuations in her friends and life.

The only thing here is that she is an Evangelical, or Christian Evangelical, with very strict rules about sexual activity.

The school found out about it and expelled her from school, and her parents forced her to study more evangelicals.

However, it is interesting to see the gap between the present day and religion, as he struggles with his unbridled interest in sexuality and his family's faith when he was young.

Dance of Reality (R15)

(Dir: Brontis Jodorowsky Production year 2013)


Alejandro Jodorowsky, the director of "El Topo," "Holy Mountain," and "Santa Sangre/Holy Blood," has taken on the megaphone for the first time in 23 years since "The Rainbow Thief" (not yet) in this human hymn. A family has emigrated from Ukraine to the Chilean countryside town of Tocopilla. The film depicts the interwoven lives of this family, with a domineering father, a singing mother, and a child at the center.


The film, which mixes surrealism and cruelty, is filled with the aesthetics of the director, who has a diverse background as a poet, performer, stage director, comic book writer, and tarot card researcher, and has a deep knowledge of Zen, meditation, and psychotherapy.

 This film would be difficult to navigate because of its quirks if it were to become a regular film work. LOL

I struggled to understand this film and saw it twice, and I'm not sure if I'm glad I saw it twice. It's not just a comedy, it's also a social satire of Chile.

This is a rare Chilean film about the late 1800s and early 1900s, when the setting was Carlos Ibáñez del Campo's military regime.

Chile at this time is also like a battle between the Communist Party and current politics, like in the late 1900s.

In fact, there is a sequel to this one.

I thought the sequel was less quirky than the first one.

If you're curious, take a look here first, and if you're interested in the second part, take a look at "Endless Poetry". Enjoy the Jodorowsky World! You might be tempted to say, "So this is surreal!

Neruda: A Fugitive from Great Love Neruda

(Directed by Pablo Larrain)


Three years after the end of World War II, President Bidera impeached Communist Party member Neruda. Will he be arrested or will he flee? The President directly orders Pershonot, a police officer, to arrest Neruda. Inspired by his new life as an exile, Neruda writes his masterpiece, The Great Song, a collection of poems. When Perchonaud catches up with her, she disappears, a constant chase. Neruda plays with Perchonaud by deliberately leaving clues, making the chase game more dangerous and their relationship closer...


Pablo Neruda is a world-renowned poet. This man is Chilean and describes Neruda's political crisis.

During the dictatorship of the late 1900s, Neruda was under a lot of pressure, and he fled the country. The movie Il Postino, which I'll show you later, is about life after fleeing the country, but in this movie, it's about the before and after of leaving Chile for Argentina. It's a film that shows what kind of person Pablo was considered to be in Chile.

It's just a bit of a quiet movie, so some people may find it boring. (I fell asleep once when I saw it in Spanish: ・・・・・・)

I think the main thing would be something like a silent fight. This is what it's like before a fight breaks out. It's real and tense.


Below are some of the films that were not made by Chilean directors, but you can still learn about Chile.


(Dir: Florian Gallenberger)


September 11, 1973. German cabin attendant Lena (Emma Watson) is on a flight to Chile and enjoys a brief encounter with her journalist lover, Daniel (Daniel Brühl). Suddenly, however, a coup d'état is launched by the Chilean military and Daniel is taken away as a rebel. Daniel is taken away as a rebel. Lena discovers that he has been sent to the "Colonia Dignidad", a charity organization, but it is under the dictatorship of Paul Schaefer (Michael Nyqvist), a former Nazi who is known as "The Pope". It was an inescapable place tied to the regime and ruled over its inhabitants with violence in the name of God. Unable to get help from anyone in the foreign land, Lena decides to infiltrate the colonia alone in order to rescue Daniel .......


Emma Watson, the star of the Harry Potter hit, stars in this film. In order to rescue her boyfriend, she infiltrates the Colonia Dignidad, a torture facility linked to the remnants of the Nazi Party. Despite being a foreign-produced film, it's a bit of a depressing film that gets extremely involved in the Chilean military regime.

That Emma Watson stars in a very tense performance that will take your breath away.

If you're not a fan of violence, be a little careful, but life in a monastery, or in general during a military regime? It's quite interesting, with a few descriptions of life.

Il Postino / THE POSTMAN

(Dir: Michael Radford)


A small island off the coast of Naples, where the poet Pablo Neruda, who has defected from Chile to Italy, is staying. It is there that Pablo Neruda, a poet who has defected from Chile to Italy, has decided to stay. Mario, a young man who does not want to be a fisherman, takes a job as a courier to deliver mail to Pablo from all over the world. Mario does not want to be a fisherman, but he takes a job as a mailman to deliver mail to Pablo from all over the world, and the two gradually develop a friendship that transcends the age gap. Mario discovers the beauty of poetry and is taught about the metaphors of poetry. Eventually Mario falls in love at first sight with a girl named Beatrice, who works in the cafeteria, and he tries to send her a poem .......


It was a good movie. A calm, yet troubled atmosphere that abounds on an Italian island, but also has the problems that are common in the countryside.

I didn't know that Pablo Neruda was in exile in Italy. I found out when I saw this. A postman who didn't even put a letter on his name was inspired by someone he admired and grew up with. Even after he left, it's inspiring to see him continue to respect and work hard straight away, even though the qualities may have been there in the first place.

There are several of Pablo Neruda's villas in Santiago II, the capital of Chile, and when you go there, you might be surprised to see his collection of Japanese stuff... Oh, I digress.

If you get a chance, go take a look.

You can watch it for free if you're on Amazon Prime, and sometimes it's available for free on GYAO!

How was the article?

All of the movies above are related to Chile, but there are many more films that take place in Chile and are related to Chile. The above are just my personal recommendations.

I got a lot of information from the Chilean film before I studied abroad, and there are many parts of the film that helped me, like looking for tours to learn about the history there as well, and hearing the opinions of the locals!

I hope you will find your favorite one.

The synopsis was excerpted from kinenote.