The A.V. Club
The nearly 40 years’ worth of documentaries collected in Icarus’ recent DVD box set Five Films By Patricio Guzmán combine to tell two stories. One is about the history of Chile, and how it’s still reckoning with the military coup—and subsequent dictatorship—of General Augusto Pinochet. The other is about the evolution of Guzmán as a filmmaker. He started out as a reporter, shaping raw footage into “direct cinema.” As he transitioned from celluloid to video, Guzmán’s images were initially more functional than artistic. But as digital technology improved—and as the director became more reflective—his movies changed from front-line journalism to something more handsome and allusive.