Chile From Within

Lonely Planet Chile ( Moon ), Heraldo Munoz (Bush diplomatic pressure), James Bond (Daniel Craig) (Chile is the new Chile)

Posted in Andes Mountains, chile, Chile culture, Chile film, Viva Chile by tomasdinges on March 23, 2008

Lots of news this weekend.

Most newsworthy is the article in The Washington Post by Colum Lynch reviewing Heraldo Munoz’s forthcoming book. He was the senior Chilean diplomat, now Chilean U.N. representative, who carried out Ricardo Lagos’ anti-Iraq War missive, and in the process got pressured to hell by President Bush and his minions.

An insider’s take on the spearhead of the U.N. opposition to the Bush war titled, “A Solitary War: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of the Iraq War and Its Lessons.”

“‘In the aftermath of the invasion, allies loyal to the United States were rejected, mocked and even punished’ for their refusal to back a U.N. resolution authorizing military action against Saddam Hussein’s government, Munoz writes.

But the tough talk dissipated as the war situation worsened, and President Bush came to reach out to many of the same allies that he had spurned. Munoz’s account suggests that the U.S. strategy backfired in Latin America, damaging the administration’s standing in a region that has long been dubious of U.S. military intervention.”

Secondly, Wayne Bernhardson, formerly the Lonely Planet travel guidebook writer for the Southern Cone who now has his own guidebook, Moon, now has a blog about South America. He knows a lot, and it will be interesting to see what he really thinks about Chile on his travels. He has just crossed the border, inexplicably (hehe) missing Parque Andino Juncal, and went Los Andes, where he compared the landscape to California.

Lastly, according to the Guardian Observer James Bond will use Chile to look like Bolivia in flick Quantum of Solace, which is set to open in October. Secrets out and the Chileans must be indignant.

Imagine that, good production environment, professional production staff…blissful for production, but wait, there is a catch. These extras, and the locations, are meant to be Bolivia, not Chile.

Maybe they will have to acknowledge that, well, dark, side of their heritage. That Aymaran indian side.

According to the story only short and dark people are being cast for a multiple day, and multiple million dollar shoot. It’s also another instance of why its ok to laugh at the Chilean film and television production scene and Chile in general. They get punk’d because its so easy to punk Chileans. Their identity is a sham and it will take snafus like this one to get people to rethink their indigenous and Chilean roots that have for so long been squashed and scrubbed in their mind’s eye. That’s my cheap shot for the week.


10 Responses

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  1. Randy Paul said, on March 23, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Not to mention the fact that the Bolivians withe their antipathy towards Chile will be offended that Chile is subbing for Bolivia.

  2. Chileno said, on March 24, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Randy, the Bolivians should be honored!

    Tomas, fantastic summary. You opened up all the stories I didn’t care to click on in my RSS feed and you make me feel dumb for not clicking on them.

    I have now subscribed to Mr Moon’s shocking revelations about the California landscape I met him a long time ago when he was mooching computer space at Santiago Times and bitching about his car.

  3. Eduardo said, on March 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I think that is a huge generalization that all of us Bolivians hate Chile. Yes, there are some ridiculous attitudes by Bolivians towards Peruvians, Chileans, Argentineans, etc…but it is not the rule through all 9 million of us.

    I don’t see what the big deal is about filming in Chile and saying that it is Bolivia. Do you think Rwandans were upset that most of Hotel Rwanda was filmed in South Africa?

    The populations along the borders of many countries are not very distinguishable. Bolivia along the Argentine border. Bolivia along the Peruvian border. Border along the Brasilian border.

    I have no doubt that it is much easier to film in Chile because Bolivia is a headache to do much of anything.

    I am not sure what you meant about this though,

    “Maybe they will have to acknowledge that, well, dark, side of their heritage. That Aymaran indian side.”

    I have come across some sites from Aymara communities in Chile, I don’t think that they are very ashamed of their heritage.

  4. Chileno said, on March 26, 2008 at 3:27 am

    See, Randy! Eduardo, a Bolivian, is honored! (Just like the Hillbillies were honored that Cold Mountain was filmed in Hungary).

    Tomas is not responding, so we are left to decipher the Master’s words. I think he means that it’ll shock the sensibilities of mainstream Chile that it could be taken for an indigenous Banana Republic like Bolivia. He wasn’t saying that the indigenous Chilean communities would be offended, but Mainstream Chile which considers itself the Scandinavia of the South, the England of the Pacific, etc, etc.

    Click here to read about an instance of how the Peruvians handle this race stuff.

  5. tomasdinges said, on March 26, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Hi there Eduardo,

    I take no personal offense to Chile being portrayed by Bolivia, and agree with your thoughts on the risk assessment of film production people, who chose Chile over Bolivia for filming a big picture like Bond.

    I was sort of generalizing…and making fun of what I think is a Chilean issue of denying their own roots…specifically their indigenous roots. In the cities at least, white is good and dark is bad. Very few Mapuche’s and it is changing I think, accept and are proud, of their indigenous roots.

    But, for example, when I was crossing the border in Ollague, I had no sense of political distinction, and I thought those political boundaries pretty stupid.

    On the filming part I think Chile is prideful because it is weak. You touch upon an irony. Despite having been primed by Pinochet and previously the British and US companies, capitalism is about exploitation. Democracy and capitalism is about acceptable exploitation, or service providing. You would think that the citizens of Chile are already used to this, but it is just on an executive level that this happens.

    Chile, all of Chile, is not yet used to being a bitch, anybody’s bitch, for a dollar bill.

    I think executives have already accepted this reality, but not the employees.

    Well, now their identity has been co-opted by a film production, and they feel manipulated…

    No offense against Bolivia. I think highly of Bolivia, precisely because it has a connection to the land previous to that of the Spanish.

    (funny things to say, for a white guy)

  6. Chileno said, on March 27, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    The Master has spoken.

  7. Randy Paul said, on March 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm


    Sorry, it was not my intent to generalize only to point out the other side of the matter.


    I am the one to be honored by Eduardo (one of the classier and most thoughtful bloggers) setting me straight.

    Time for a group hug.

    As one who lives in a city (along with your blog host – at least for now -) that is frequently portrayed by Vancouver and Toronto instead of NYC, I feel your pain.

  8. splitting said, on May 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Splitting says : I absolutely agree with this !

  9. Ser said, on June 8, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Como chileno solo puedo decir que me da verguenza nuestra actitud hacia Bolivia. He viajado por ese pais muchas veces y lo encuentro maravilloso.

  10. tomasdinges said, on June 9, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Ser, estoy de acuerdo. Esta muy dificil entender el rencor que surge de tanto desconocimiento, especialemente desde la gente emitiendo opiniones desde Santiago.

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