The Death of Pinochet

(La muerte de Pinochet)
Perut-Osnovikoff | Documentary, Experimental

2011 | 67 minutes | Chile

With undeniable historical, social, and political importance, The Death of Pinochet expresses the vitality of a nation while exposing the political divisions that marked Chile’s recent history with death and violence.


On December 10, 2006, General Pinochet dies unexpectedly in Santiago’s Military Hospital. For 24 hours, his death reawakens the political divisions that marked Chile’s recent history with death and violence. Using original footage and the testimonies of four characters who lived through that day of profound contrasts, the film relates the end of a key chapter in Chile’s history. Fun and provocative, The Death of Pinochet is an intimate and surprising portrait of Chilean society. With undeniable historical, social and political importance, this moving film expresses the vitality of a nation.


"Fun, provocative and over the top, the film explores in an intimate and raw way a side of Chilean history rarely shown on film." — The Film Society of Lincoln Center

"Politics highlight the contrasts between documentary and fiction, between staging and spontaneous record, between life and death, between individual and crowd." — Beatriz Urraca, Cine Documental

"The directors make visually literalist the notion of vox pops, creating a simple, blunt poetry of revelatory visual details." — Michael Vazquez, HuffPost

"The film narrates the ending of a key chapter in Chilean history in an innovative, exciting way." — Warsaw International Film Festival

"The documentary follows the characters in an intelligent and fluid way. It lets them be and does not judge...Original, very well done and unprejudiced, allowing the luxury of both humor and the ridiculous, even with such a shocking and complex topic." — Florencia E. Gonzàlez, Leedor

"A unique and disturbing documentary, a grotesque world that can only be obtained through keen observation and a desire to marvel at the reality, without prejudice or preconceived speeches." — La Segunda

"Osnovikoff and Perut operate from an insolent, transgressive spirit to create a film that makes no concessions for viewers or strong formal experimentation. They use several styles of documentation without allowing themselves to get boxed in... The Death of Pinochet is an exploration into the alienation triggered by a historical event in a shaken city. There are mad impulses to the failure of memory that expresses itself in the strength of the language of the film makers. They use a visual language that renews the critical perspective and leaves a precedent in documentary film making, a genre that is on the rise in Chile." — Susana Díaz, Berrios Corte Irracional

"Osnovikoff and Perut plunge us into an irreconcilably split Chile, with the intention of provoking argument over the notions of homeland, dictatorship, and democracy. As some of those interviewed say, "Augusto continues to live," a benchmark of patriotism for some, a genocidal butcher for others." —Maria Bertoni, Espectadores

Main credits

Osnovikoff, Iván (film director)
Perut, Bettina (film director)
Perut, Bettina (film producer)

Other credits

Cinematography, Pablo Valdes; editors, Bettina Perut, Ivan Osnovikoff.

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Cine B Film Festival Chile - Best Feature
Santiago International Film Festival - Jury Special Award
Pärnu Film Festival - Best Experimental Documentary
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival
IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

DIRECTOR: Perut-Osnovikoff


YEAR: 2011

GENRE: Documentary, Experimental


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults



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