Documentary film “Viva Chile Mierda”
(running time: 50 minutes)
Teaching Plan – Grade Ten:
World history taught in the US & Canada.
This documentary offers the opportunity for students to gain a different perspective on a nation’s history — from the viewpoint of Fernando Alegría, a prominent author, poet and human rights activist who often wrote from the viewpoint of the oppressed such as poor people, people with different political affiliations, religious beliefs, cultural heritage, gender, race and sexual orientations. The film explores, in part, the underlying issues, such as the conditions that led to the Coup in Chile in 9/11/1973 and the forces behind it, as well as their global links to control the economy.
Students will explore the rise and change of industrial economics and their link to imperialism and colonialism through modern times (California History-Social Science content standard 10.4)
To demonstrate how the creativity of political poetry can be an effective medium for social change.
To demonstrate how intangible qualities such as talents, abilities, character & principles for example can contribute to the production of social change and to the way it is brought about.
1. Develop geographical understanding.
• Identify Chile on a map.
• Name its neighboring countries. (From North to South: Peru, Bolivia & Argentina)
• Explain why people refer to Chile as an “island”. (Enclosed by the mountains and the sea)
• When is winter in Chile? (Seasons south of the equator are opposite north)
• What are some of the geographical treasures of Chile? (The Andes, Easter Island, Salty desserts, glacier crowned south from Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego or Fire land)
• Identify Chile’s primary natural resource. (Copper)
• What is the main language spoken in Chile? (Spanish)
• Name another famous poet from Chile and name the movie in which he was predominantly featured. (Pablo Neruda _ “Il Postino”)
• Identify at least 3 ethnic groups in Chile. (The majority in Chile is comprised of Mestizo – mixed Native American and European ancestry, minorities are Mapuche, Aymara, Diaguita, Europeans, Polynesian and others).
2. Expand vocabulary.
• Coup d‘état
• National Identity
3. Develop independent thinking.
• What are some of the strengths, talents, abilities of Fernando Alegría the way you see it?
• How does the documentary Viva Chile M…! communicate these strengths, talents & abilities?
• What would you tell the filmmakers, Uwe and Marcia, about what you learned from viewing this movie?
• Write one statement from three of the identified social groups telling their possible viewpoint of the Sept. 11 Coup in 1973.
• Explore possible parallels between September 11 in Chile and September 11 in the United States. Who profited/suffered from the coup in Chile, and the events in the United States?
• What is the link between Chile’s natural resources and imperialism and political changes in the country?
• Before Viewing: Explore questions and discussion ideas listed under the Geography objective. Use wall maps, atlases, etc. Define vocabulary.
• During Viewing: Students will gather remaining answers to the geography questions.
• After Viewing: Students will demonstrate understanding by completing one long-term research project from the list below.
• Further Thinking: Explore this question with students: Is documentary film fact, truth, or opinion; and what makes it so?
4. Research Chile’s official history. Create a timeline of historical and political events and people.
5. Now research Chile’s history from the viewpoint of the Mapuche. Create a similar timeline of historical and political events and people but from the Mapuche point of view.
(See Mapuche website for timeline)
6. Compare the events and make a table of the difference you noted.
7. Compare the information about ‘ethnic presences’ in Chile as offered by for example the CIA fact book and Native American website such as the Mapuche. What differences did you notice?
8. Research and write a biography of Fernando Alegría.
9. Find 2 or 3 poems by Alegría and tell what they mean to you.
10. Identify and list at least five of the various social groups that Alegría explored through his poetry and social activities.
11. Name 5 works of Alegría’s that focus on different social, political or ethnic groups (“Like a Red Tree (Como un Arbol Rocho)”, “Lautaro, joven libertador de Arauco”, “Amerika, Amerikka, Amerikkka!”, ...)
12. Read and respond to “Viva Chile Mierda”. What does the title mean?
(You might want to have a look at the pressroom link inside the website www.vivachilem.com and read the article by Kelly Vance called Chile Warmth).
13. Find out more about Alegría’s friend Pablo Neruda. Compare and contrast these two Latin American writers.
(For information on Neruda you might want to consider a look at the Nobel e Museum at www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/1971/neruda-bio.html).
14. Why is poetry an especially popular vehicle for exploring social change and history in Latin America?
15. How is modern imperialism different from the invasion by the conquistadores in America?
16. Who were some of the natives before Columbus and the Conquistadores arrived in South America?
(A variety of ancient cultures of which many, but not all, were a part of the Inca social and political system of its time. The Aymara, farmers in the desert north around the area of lake Titicaca, and the Diaguita Indians living in the interior of the Andes. The Mapuche, with over one million members is one of the largest minorities who mostly live in and around the city of Santiago. In some books you will find the Mapuche being referred to, by the name given to them by the Spanish conquistadores, the Araucarian Indians).
17. What are some of Chile’s cultural treasures as seen through the eyes of the three ethnic groups you identified earlier? (For more resources and information see website index).
18. What are some other minority languages spoken in Chile?
(For example: In the north Aymara, further south, the Mapuche call their native language Mapu-Dugan, deep into the Pacific Ocean a small ethnic minority, the indigenous people from Easter Island, speak a Polynesian based language called Rapa Nui).
• For more information on Fernando Alegría, biography, bibliography, the filmmakers, transcripts, the poem (English/Spanish), lesson plans, newsroom, upcoming events and festivals, interviews, La Pena and WISR go to: www.vivachilem.com
• For information about Chile: www.chile.com
• Embassy of Chile in the USA: www.chile-usa.org
• The official CIA web site about Chile: www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ci.html
• For Native American perspectives go to www.mapuche-nation.org and www.aymara.org