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Document Creation Date: 
December 19, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 26, 2006
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Publication Date: 
August 13, 1972
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01365R000300210072-5.pdf103.89 KB
Approve or--ReKase 20061 4UPCIA-RDP88-01385 ~ t . Ci ,~ r 13 d fd By Swis 10 11ii irAf SAN7`IAGO-"There is a lot of liberty in Chile,"said Costa Gavras, the director of politically provocative movies. There was enough for him to film "State of Siege" here, but just barely. Costa Gavras previously had infuriated the world's dictators, and particularly those of his native Greece, with "Z." Likewise, he in- sulted Stalinists and agi- tated other Communists with the showing of "The Confession." Now "State of Siege" has convulsed all sectors of ? Chile's broad political spec- trum. And the film is not quite finished as yet. And it does not have to do with Chile, anyway. Gavras, at 39 the leader of the political film movement, offered an interview in IT'C's Sheraton Carrera Hotel, a sanctuary from the slings of the 'Chilean right and the arrows of the left. ? "Suite of Siege," he ex- plained, is a story of neoco- lonialism, of advisers from rich countries who seek to Impose their own sysl:ems and values on .the cola rics they "aid." The events of the film derive 'roughly from the execution by l ru- guay's Tupamaros of U.S. police adviser' Dan MItrione in 1970. Yves Montand, lead- ing marl in Gavras' previous .movies, plays the approxi- - Mation of Alitrione. "Biut this is not be casu .of mm one,- Gavras in- sistcd. ''We do not really know that case, although we know some of it. Montand is a big)] functionary who is kidnaped. But we use no names'' The locale is not defined, either, beyond its being in Latin' America. ' But the movie had to he mode some- where, Chile, as the freest country with at least a rudi- mentat?y fitn+ industry nec- essary to support' the pro- duction, was the only choice. But as the Most highly poli- ticized nation, it.. hardly turned out to be ideal. Critics on the light. main- tained "State of was financed by the 'I'uparnaros (most of the Money is, AUner?- ican). Uruguay's ambassador protested diplomatically. The left accused Gavras of unrevvolutiouary commercial- him. Part of the problem was that Gavras' politics do not fit under any of the ideolog- ical labels that define poli tics here. Gavras said he has never associated with any move- ment, that his character' would not, permit it. "Any friends accuse me of being an aggressive inde- pendent. I don't know if a society can organize itself around pi'ople such as Me, but .. ." He punctuated the phrase with a take-it-or- leave it shrug that Santia- . go's half-dozen brands of so- cialists find so disconcert. ing. - "The trouble with political. parties is that they deal ill' simplifications. None is as perfect as its advocates say." What, then, is the basis of his own philosophy? laxed and intense. He grew up in postwar Greece, where the air was thick with the themes that would later dominate Ills films: Stalin- j,-m, anticommunism, U.S aid, military rule, civil strife. In 1953, Gavras left Greece for the Sorbonne in Paris. "But literature an three years he turned to studios for television and the movies, arid he then worked in those fields. After 14 years in France, Gavras returned briefly to Greece in. 1667--as it hap- pened, just. before the mili- tary coup. Ile had picked up the 'Z" book describing the death of Greek rebel leader Lambral:is at the hands of the military, and the coup that soon followed gave it an instant relevance. Argentina, whose military regime usually imposes a rigid movie censor;;b.ip, was allowed to see "Z,." Gavras explained that the film had just received a big reception at the Mar del Plata film festival and the distributor seized that moment to ask approval iii Buenos Aires. It worked. Several Argentines who saw the picture said they: felt. it was describing their own- dictatorship, the only incon,rutty being the fact that they were there seeing it. According to Gavras, Don- ald Ituggof of Cinema Five in New York paid about ,600,000 on the gamble that 'tile show would succeed there. It did, bringing in $10 million. With that, American fin- anciers were interested in political movies. It was 1968, and the throttling of the Prague spring was on the public mind. Gavras and Montand turned to "The ContInUed "The dignity of. man, full- STATINTL damentally. Justice. I cannot. accept that some men go hungry. I cannot accept that some live very well while others live very poorly.... l am not a Christian but I ac? cept the ideal, to love thy neighbor as thyself.' All the enormous quantity of words today makes this ideal seem old-fashioned, but it is my philosophy." Costa Gavras, actually Constantine Gavras, is a ORUC F Approved For Release 2006/07