A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

Poster for A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

Winter 2012 Documentary series

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Peter Raymont

Based on the book by Ariel Dorfman

Starring Salvador Allende, Michelle Bachelet, and Hugo Chávez

Rated NR · 1h 32m
English and Spanish

View trailer

A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

This award-winning documentary is an exploration of exile, memory, longing and democracy as seen through the experiences of a world-renowned writer. Ariel Dorfman is the author of numerous works of fiction in Spanish and English including: Death and the Maiden, In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land and Other Septembers. Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile , Dorfman’s latest work, was published in September, 2011, 38 years after the Allende’s assassination. He has been translated into over 40 languages and his plays performed in more than 100 countries.

Yet, despite all his artistic accomplishments, it is for his political life that Dorfman is best known. Born in Argentina, he was raised in New York until his family was exiled during the Red Scare of the 1950s. Years later, Dorfman became Cultural Advisor to Chile’s socialist government under Salvador Allende.

When the government was toppled by a military coup on September 11, 1973, Ariel Dorfman was among the few survivors of President Allende’s inner circle. Years later, he was told that he was spared because “someone had to live to tell the story.”

Taking its lead from Dorfman’s best-selling memoir, A Promise to the Dead was filmed in the USA, Argentina and Chile in late 2006, coinciding with the death of former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet. A Promise to the Dead opened the New York Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in June, 2011 and Ariel Dorfman has been on CBC Radio twice this December, 2011.