Thursday, February 15, 2007

Victor Jara

On the train yesterday, I was overcome with emotion reading Joan Jara's moving story of the first days of the coup in Chile, saying good-bye to her husband for the last time, and claiming his body at the morgue. Victor Jara, a popular folk singer in Chile and member of the “Nueva canción Chilena”(New Chilean Song) movement, was clearly a wonderful and courageous man and his widow's writing manages, despite the best efforts of the forces of evil, to bring him back to life.
The coup in Chile was the direct result of American intervention. The absolute horror of it is difficult to convey, but in her words, we can begin to understand the sheer wall of fear and evil. Kissinger should be in prison. Three chapters are now on History Is A Weapon. We encourage you to read them:
Three chapters from Victor: An Unfinished Song by Joan Jara

Charles Horman, an American journalist, was also among the thousand rounded up and executed after the coup. His parents went down afterwards to look for him and his father wrote an amazing book, Missing, that was later turned into a haunting film starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. If you get a chance to check either the book or the film, they're worth your time. I remember seeing the film when I was twelve or thirteen and reading the book soon after and just getting dazed. I'm always disturbed seeing Kissinger on shows like Jon Stewart.

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Blogger Adam Ford said...

Thanks, I'll have a good read of that. Hopefully it will be as inspirational as you've made it sound.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Thanks for your thoughtful posting. Yes, Joan Jara's memoirs do revive Victor Jara and his work as she honestly and perceptively draws a picture of the personal and political evolution of Victor and herself during a tumultuous time in Chile's democracy and then its defeat in the '73 military coup. I was impressed by how they both helped design and contribute to popular art education and performances in music, theatre and dance. It's among the best memoirs I've ever read. We need to keep on popularizing Victor Jara's songs and work, so thanks for sharing your thoughts.

There are also some docs and films about him:
* Victor Jara, The Right to Live in Peace (Víctor Jara, el Derecho de vivir en paz) Chile, 1999, 60 minutes, Producer, Marilyn Perez
Director, Carmen Luz Parot
* Compañero: Victor Jara of Chile (1974) Directors: Stanley Forman, Martin Smith
*Cantor, El (1978) (TV)... aka The Singer (International: English title)

and recently Francesca Ancarola
released an album "Lonquen" a tribute to Victor Jara

Anita Krajnc

9:03 AM  

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