Dance of Hope

Director: Deborah Shaffer

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


On October 5, 1988 the citizens of Chile voted "no" to eight more years of dictatorship under General Pinochet. A unified voice demanded an end to the repression, injustice and violence, and the answers to questions. In Dance of Hope, eight women, members of the Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared, struggle to raise the issues of human rights and social justice for the Chilean people. Theirs is an endless battle, filled with enormous sacrifices and requiring extraordinary courage on a daily basis.

The women dance alone the sensuous cueca, Chile's national dance of love and passion, to the words of" The Cueca Sola." It is a dance of hope because spring 1990 is set to usher In a new president, a relaxation of repression, and, hopefully, answers. But until then, it is a dance of solitude, a moving gesture of protest symbolizing those with whom they can no longer dance, which Sting has popularized in his song "They Dance Alone."

Director Deborah Shaffer keeps the film varied, alternating intimate, poignant interviews with emotionally charged scenes from the streets of actual demonstrations, brutal arrests, and fierce confrontations. Extensive footage of the October plebiscite establishes a larger context of protest, and celebrates Pinochet's defeat. Although it depicts much pain, Dance of Hope also possesses a sense of confidence in the strength and courage of the Chilean people represented by these eight women.

Saturday, January 20 10:00 a.m
Holiday Village Cinema III

Monday, January 22 4:30 p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema I

Wednesday, January 24 4:30 p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema I

Friday, January 26 10:00 a.m.
Holiday Village Cinema II


Screening Details

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