Clandestine in Chile The Adventures of Miguel Littin (1986)
By Gabriel García Márquez

In 1973, Chilean film director Miguel Littin was exiled during the turmoil that followed the assassination of President Salvador Allende. Twelve years later, disguised as an Uraguayan businessman, he returned to his country and spent six weeks "making a film that made fun of the dangers of military power.'' In Nobelist (should you just say here: Nobel Prize-winning) Márquez's hands, this is a scary, exhilarating and sometimes hilarious tale of bizarre coincidences, hairbreadth escapes and ludicrous foul-ups (getting a shave and haircut in Concepcion, Littin discovers afterward that his meticulous disguise has been ruined). His brashness is impressive: at one point he manages to shoot some footage inside General(is this correct? - just wouldn't abbreviate if it isn't in the novel) Augusto Pinochet's private office. In the end he escapes by air, fantasizing that the dictator will soon be "dragging behind the 105,000-foot donkey's tail of film we had pinned on him.'' A rousing adventure story, this is also the best reportage available about conditions in Chile.


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