Canto a la Vida

Song to Life

A film by Lucia Salinas Briones

Australia | 1990 | 48 minutes | Color | 16mm/DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 99299


CANTO A LA VIDA illuminates exile through the remarkable stories of Chilean women, including the assassinated president’s widow Hortensia de Allende, their niece, author Isabel Allende, and folk singer Isabel Parra. In this powerful exploration of cultural displacement, language loss and personal dislocation, seven different women discuss their altered notions of home, work and daily life. Moving testimonies are underscored by archival footage, paintings, songs and memories. Since Pinochet’s ouster in 1989, many Chileans have journeyed back to their birthplace, and are now faced with the difficult decision of whether to remain in Chile or return to their adoptive countries. Filmmaker Briones, who herself left Chile in 1986, presents a beautiful, unforgettable testament to life in exile.


“Outstanding. Powerful, moving and evocative.”

Golden Gate Awards San Francisco Film Festival

“Both a narrative of the terror of the coup and the years of dictatorship, and a wholly subjective but universal representation of the condition of exile.”

Melbourne Tribune


  • Films de Femmes, Creteil, France
  • San Francisco Film Festival, Special Jury Award
  • New York Documentary Festival
  • Festival Latino, New York


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