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Promise to the Dead, A - The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: White Pine Pictures
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 90 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2007
Available in French: Yes

A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman is an exploration of exile, memory, longing and democracy, as seen through the experiences of the world-renowned writer, Ariel Dorfman - author of numerous works of fiction, plays and essays in Spanish and English. Dorfman's books (including Death and the Maiden, In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land and How to Read Donald Duck) have been translated into over 30 languages and his plays performed in more than one hundred countries. Born in Argentina, but raised in New York, until his family was exiled to Chile during the Red Scare, Dorfman became Cultural Advisor to the Staff of Chile's socialist president Salvador Allende. When the democratically elected government was toppled in the military coup of September 11, 1973, Dorfman was among a handful of Allende's inner circle to survive. Years later, he was told that his life was spared because "someone had to live to tell the story".

A Promise to the Dead was filmed in the USA, Argentina and Chile in late 2006, coinciding with the death of former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet. The film is based, in part, on Dorfman's best-selling memoir, Heading South, Looking North.

The film is available in French and Spanish

“A life changing experience...A profile in courage coloured with the anxiety of a human rights activist faced with painful moral choices.”
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“A powerful, at times unforgettable documentary...it's a must see because you soon learn that it's about more than Chile. It's about how the world works.”
- John Doyle, The Toronto Globe and Mail

  • 2008 Gemini Winner for best Social / Political Documentary and for best Original Music Score for a Documentary Program or Series
  • Nominated for Best Documentary 2008 Director’s Guild of Canada
  • A Toronto International Film Festival 2007 selection for one of the 10 best films of the year.

Links: http://www.promisetothedead.com