A Promise to the Dead

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We've talked with Ariel Dorfman before, about his plays, his books, and his many op-eds. He lived the violent political struggle in Chile in the 1970's, serving as cultural attache to the country's president, Salvador Allende. After the coup in 1973, he was one of the few who worked with Allende to make it out alive. Now a professor at Duke in North Carolina, he has a new documentary movie out, A Promise to the Dead. It's Dorfman's story of what happened in Chile, and how he faced down some of the demons that still haunt him. As he puts it, it's a film, "on what I had learned and the people of Chile had learned from the sorrows of intolerance and the bleakness of tyranny, how we had grown from our ashes, how we had dealt with our pain and overcome the legacy of terror."

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The story of what happened in Chile and Argentina is an important warning to democracies everywhere about how easily they can be subverted. The same process could happen here in America unless we remain alert.

Sent by Jimmy Havok | 2:30 PM | 9-22-2007