Vuelta y Vuelta: Memorias del Exilio Chileno

March 5th, 2014 7:30 PM
Tales of the 1% / U.S. PREMIERE
Co-sponsor: Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory
Vuelta y Vuelta: Memorias del Exilio Chileno
Memories of the Chilean Exile
Dirs: Daniela Bichl and Markus Toth | 2013 | 76 min | Spanish with English subtitles


After the military coup on September 11, 1973 in Chile, and throughout the years of the dictatorship, more than one million Chileans had to flee their country. Many of these refugees still live abroad, while others have returned to Chile after many years in exile.

“Vuelta y Vuelta” is a documentary about ten people who left Chile during the military dictatorship. They speak about their experiences during and after the coup, their lives in exile, and their return to the country of their birth, while reflecting on the Chile they left and the Chile of today. September 11, 1973 changed the lives of all of them forever. Ten people talk about countless experiences. This documentary is a contribution to Chilean historical memory.

Part of the method of constructing and filming this documentary involved the use of the Theater of the Oppressed (TO), a form of participatory and collectively created theater in which the boundaries between “audience” and “actor” are broken down and eliminated. The use of TO enabled the filmmakers to build a close bond with the film's participants.

The Theater of the Oppressed is a methodology created and elaborated by Brazilian director and social justice activist Augusto Boal (1931-2009) in the late 1960s and early 1970s, during the military dictatorship in Brazil. Emerging from the popular education movement that took hold in the 1950s, TO's objective is to “humanize humanity”. Theater of the Oppressed is is a form of popular theater, of, by, and for people engaged in the struggle for liberation. Augusto Boal, who was inspired by Paulo Freire, called it a “rehearsal for revolution”. According to Boal everybody can make theater—every human being is theater!

The use of Theater of the Oppressed enabled the film's subjects and the directors to create a situation of trust, where everyone revealed themselves to each other—their fears, vulnerabilities, hopes and dreams laid bare, opening a space of reflection and conversation where everyone shared experiences, thoughts, emotions, feelings and skills. The documentary “Vuelta y Vuelta” is based on a collective process, the result of a collaboration between the film's subjects and the directors.

About the filmmakers:

Daniela Bichl: I'm the daughter of my Chilean mother and Austrian father—born and raised in Vienna. I consider myself as Austrian with Chilean roots of the third generation. Because of my Chilean roots I have always been interested in the topic of Chileans in Vienna and the situation of immigrants in Austria in general. I finished my Studies of International Development at the University in Vienna in May 2012 and in my thesis I wrote about Popular Theater and the Theater of the Oppressed in Latin America and Africa. During the elaboration of my thesis I spent a few months in Chile working with different theater groups in Concepción. In Vienna, I was responsible for a project called “Huellas de Viena”, where we did various theater workshops together with the group “Theatre of the Oppressed Vienna”. Furthermore I have experience conducting theater workshops in schools with teenagers and children. After getting to know the methods of TO we came up with the idea of connecting theater and documentary film and to use theater as a tool to develop a creative process and to create a space of trust.

Markus Toth: I finished my Studies of International Development at the University of Vienna in February 2012 and wrote my thesis about indigenous rights in Chile. During my studies I specialized in human rights and indigenous rights. I spent time in Mexico and Chile, where I also worked in communities of the Huichol and Mapuche. I participated in different film projects and short films and was a DP for a documentary about art in public spaces. You can find some of my work here:

More details, along with the film trailer, can be found at

Contact The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory at for more information.

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