Category Archives: viajes

Chile en Super8 Part 2

Part 2: The jail my dad was locked in during the early months of 1974 had three floors. It grew out of a hill like most old buildings in Valparaiso do. The southern exterior wall of the jail had a huge drop where more than one inmate must have tried escaping by jumping onto a passing hay cart. My dad told me they had him on the third level with the rest of the communists. He wasn’t a communist but he was charged as an armed subversive because he owned a gun in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 coup. According to him, the unregistered gun he kept in the toolshed next to the paint thinner was “older than him” and was meant for deterrence only. Every time I heard my dad’s gun story, peppered with his typical hyperboles, I imagined one of those guns pirates used during the golden age of the man blouse. A poor weapon choice in the event of an escalating conflict with anybody over the age of 11, in my opinion.

My dad was apprehended late at night on Cerro Marisopa in Valparaiso. I imagine him cooking ravioli when he heard a knock on the door. There were cops and they had submachine guns. He didn’t resist. Not even in his embellished retelling of the story. He spent the next three months in jail. How the cops knew my dad owned the gun has always been a mystery to me.

When I shot the Super8 film in 2002 the prison had become a cultural center.

India en Super8


My first trip to India and Nepal with my friends.  Shot in Super8. The intro is 8-bit animation. We meant to go for 6 months but dysentery, dengue, and black market, lucid-dream-inducing malaria medication took a toll on our friendship. Our group slowly disintegrated as we traveled deeper into India.  We arrived in July 2005 while terrorist attacks hit England and the monsoon rains overran most Mumbai shantytowns. By October, we all had left except for one, the physicist, who stayed for the entire six months.

I hated and loved India. So much.  India is a massive entity that extends from the greatness of its ancient, diverse cultures to its kind and amazing people to the microscopic parasites that lurk in the water. India doesn’t give up until it’s part of you.  Forever. Physically and/or psychologically. Because India is so overwhelming, sometimes I think I will wake up as 22 year-old in a small Indian town after a long malaria fever lucid dream. And my friends will be there, as well as the local shaman who is a total Hanuman devotee. Sort of like Jacob’s Ladder, Jacob’s Ladder The Movie and Dante’s Divine Comedy. (btw, Hanuman is by far the coolest deity, like, ever… sometimes I wished Jesus was a monkey because, then, I would be, like, the most the pious of Christians).

In India, I was cursed by a snake-charming Sadhu.  The fucker. I cursed him back by speaking tongues like a Pentecostal Evangelist. When I got back to Ithaca in America, his curse made me think I had an assortment of deceases and mental problems. But I’m glad I was cursed by a pro, because he was definitely good at making you feel you had been cursed with the full force of  a +3,000 year old tradition.  You could tell he was a pro and had cursed people before: he had this little wicker basket from which his trained cobra would emerge and dully complied to enchantment, and, of course, his Sadhu helper. His orange turban and kind eyes made me feel bad about cursing him back with some lame “your soul will burn in hell” tongue-speak.

I think I need to go back to India. I miss her like you would miss a one time lover that you lost in a crowd and who will never sign up on Facebook or leave cryptic notes on Craigslist‘s missed connections…  but that you know that once you go back to the place where you met her, that bench in that Medellin park across from the liquor store… she will be there…  waiting for you.  Waiting for you with the same passion you have been waiting for her all these years.

I’m writing this as I play Mercedes Sosa as if it was heavy metal, and drink Chile in the form of cheap Gato Blanco wine from el Valle Central. The cheapest liquid Chile I could find in Korea.