Narrative Techniques In La Batalla

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Harkening back to earlier analyses of La batalla, like the one published by Ana M. López in Julianne Burton’s influential collection The Social Documentary in Latin America (1990), Patrick Blaine notes that Guzmán’s film “seamlessly integrate[s] a number of key narrative devices [. . . ] that ma[ke] it a truly innovative project, surpassing the paradigm of the [documentary] genre in the New Latin American cinema movement and indicating the direction he would take with his later films.” Blaine notes that, surprisingly, for its time, La batalla “comes close to what Burton calls the reflexive mode”—although the degree of reflexivity is far less pronounced than in Guzmán’s subsequent films or in those by younger documentarians from the region. In La batalla, the use of…show more content…
Though on first glance it may seem like Guzmán’s subjectivity is absent from La batalla—he does not appear on screen, although he may in fact be the interviewer whose voice we hear polling people about the March 21, 1973 congressional elections—his subjectivity is, in fact, central to the film’s composition. A voice-of-god narrator, Abilio Fernández, acts as an ordering consciousness whose scripted words mirror Guzmán’s own feelings about the events portrayed. Once we become aware that the filmmaker is determining how history is presented, it becomes clear that La batalla is a “complex interpretive essay” that, although ideologically grounded in an unambiguous, militant, leftist, pro-Allende perspective, leaves room to question historical decisions and ideological positions. In this sense, the film not only shows us the conflicts that existed between left and right, but also within the left, which, as we know,

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