As Augusto Pinochet holds Chile in the grip of a dictatorship, a fifty-year-old man obsessed with John Travolta's character from Saturday Night Fever imitates his idol each weekend in a small bar on the outskirts of Santiago. Each weekend, Raúl Peralta and his friends a devoted group of dancers gather in a small bar and act out their favorite scenes from the film. Raúl longs to become a showbiz superstar, and when the national television announces a Tony Manero impersonating contest it seems like he may finally have a shot at living his dreams. But as Raúl is driven to commit a series of crimes and thefts in order to reproduce his matinee idols persona, his dancing partners (also underground resistance fighters who rail against the regime) are persecuted by the secret police.
Viewing the dictatorship of Chile from a different point of view, the film also addresses the influences of globalisation in South America and popular culture references. A link could be made with Alejandro Thornton’s video work Eva Rebelde and its incorporation of movie stars to portray contingent political issues in their countries.
Directed by Pablo Larraín, Chile, 2008. Runtime 97 mins
- Auditorium, lower ground level