Festival '90 : MOVIE REVIEWS : Vivid South American Images

More than 100 films and videos representing 25 Pacific Rim cultures are being screened through Sunday. Highlights of programs today and Thursday are reviewed here:

Today

Children of the Cold War

Chile Today, 7:30 p.m. at AFI, 2021 N. Western Ave., Hollywood ; Friday , 7:30 p.m. at Melnitz Theater, UCLA . In Gonzalo Justiniano's courageous and witty 1985 "Children of the Cold War," his hero Gaspar (Eugenio Morales) explains to his fiancee Rebecca (Pachi Torreblanca) that "in a Cold War you can't see or hear anything but you can feel everything." Justiniano's point is that in Pinochet's Chile even an ordinary middle-class couple like Rebecca and Gaspar--who are apolitical, conventional and not just a little naive--can meet a dire fate. Justiniano would seem to know his Godard, and his tone is cool, detached yet quite compassionate. "Children of the Cold War" is not at all like the dynamic neo-realist films of the Allende era, but is remarkably critical in its understated way.

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