I met Sergio in Sheffield, England in 2005 at a documentary screening about Salvador Allende. Since then, the idea of making a documentary about his life story was stuck in my mind. The way he kept a positive energy under so difficult circumstances was something that astounded me. Ten years later I have made a documentary about Sergio returning to what was Salvador Allende’s country. Under difficult circumstances. Having to direct, film and edit it myself. On my own budget. Sergio still astounds me.
Sergio managed to get back to Chile for the first time after 38 years of self exile in 2011. When he told me he would do the trip I decided to go with him right away. We met in Sheffield first and then took the plane to Chile, well, I didn’t actually manage to get on the same plane with him because we were victims of a ticket scam, so he left together with his son and I had to find another ticket from London this time, spending almost all the money I had for the rest of the trip…
But still, this experience added something to what would be an amazing adventure. We travelled to Punta Arenas just a bit north of Tierra del Fuego, as south as it goes before you reach the South Pole, then to Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso and then 19 hours by car, four people in the back seat to Antofagasta, surrounded by the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth. We met most of his family and friends. What a trip… And a great way for Sergio’s story to unfold.
Sergio grew up in the surroundings of a strong political atmosphere, his grandfather being an anti-Franco radical that had fled to Chile from the Spanish civil war and his father being a right wing supporter, Sergio understood the significance of politics from a very young age. He had already joined the youth of the Socialist Party when he was 15, being a supporter of Salvador Allende. When Augusto Pinochet took over by force in Chile, everything that Sergio hoped for seemed to fall into pieces. The violence of Pinochet’s regime was immense. Thousands of people were killed, tortured and disappeared throughout the 17 years of Pinochet’s dictatorship.
So Sergio left and after a very long journey he ended up in England, where we met many years later and developed the idea of doing a documentary. The making of this film was a great journey for me. A journey that is still going on.
The post production of the film was finished in the beginning of 2015 after the valuable input of a lot of people through a crowdfunding campaign, so that all the technical stages could be completed.
Un Condor has already screened in festivals in Greece and Europe and has won multiple awards. Looking forward to more screenings around the world.