We caught this film last week at the Latin American Film Festival. I actually knew who Pablo Neruda was, because we read several of his most famous poems in my Spanish conversation class at the local library. He was a Chilean poet, who became famous through a collection of poems called Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair that he wrote in 1924at the age of nineteen. He went on to have a prominent political and diplomatic career. He was a senator for the Chilean Communist Party, but when Communism was outlawed in Chile in 1948, he escaped to Argentina. His death has become increasingly controversial over recent years, with the Pinochet government assertion that Neruda died of cancer, being increasingly questioned.
This film is the imagined story of Neruda’s escape to Valparaiso and across the mountains to Argentina, pursued to a Javert-type policeman (think Les Miserables) who, although unfamiliar with him as a poet, sees the chase in very personal terms.
And no- I couldn’t follow the Spanish very well.