'Olvidados' review by PopMatters Intern and English Honors Major Mary Clare Durel

For all his efforts to forget, José Mendieta (Damián Alcázar) cannot. As Olvidados (Forgotten) begins, the former general is caught between his present and his past, haunted by the violence he’s inflicted on others and a victim himself, of regret and yearning.

The film, currently playing in US theaters, charts a difficult and shifting relationship between past and present. While he was a Bolivian general working in Chile during the ‘70s and ‘80s, José used to root out, torture, and eradicate Communists for the CIA’s Operation Condor. Today, he’s an old man pining for the company of his son, Pablo (Bernardo Peña), who lives in the US.

To trace the distance José has traveled from one time to the other, Olvidados opens with text explaining the parameters of the Cold War in South America, accompanied by a montage of archival war footage. This remembered chaos contrasts with our introduction to José as an old man. He lives in a nice house, walks with a cane, and is essentially alone, pining to see Pablo who is, according to José, “Forgetting his father more and more every day.”

Read the rest of Mary Clare Durel's review here.