Netflix today premiered “Colonia Dignidad: A German Sect in Chile,” a documentary series that delves into the ties between the enclave led by Paul Schäfer and the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
The series, which has six chapters -of more than 40 minutes each-, reveals testimonies of survivors and neighbors of Colonia Dignidad, a settlement of Germans founded in 1961 in the Maule Region. In dictatorship it was used as a detention and torture center.
The production is an original idea of the Chilean documentary filmmaker Cristian Leighton and its realization took five years. “Much of the archival material had to be restored, a very complex and lengthy process of digitization. When I say this, I mean 250 contaminated tapes that were not visible in a digital player,” he told Radio Biobío.
Role of Hernán Larraín
One of the survivors of Colonia Dignidad and narrator of the documentary, Salo Luna, said that the production “will generate debate.”
“It’s going to generate debate… Colonia Dignidad has been transversally political: I saw, personally, representatives of government, of the right, of the center, of the left. The images are going to generate remezón,” he told the aforementioned media.
One of the collaborators of the enclave that appears mentioned in the series is Hernán Larraín, current Minister of Justice and Human Rights.
“We have always heard about Larraín (and his participation in Colonia Dignidad), but this documentary puts him in the spotlight with images, with narratives, with press releases that he makes in relation to the Chilean victims,” Luna added.
“Undoubtedly, what is going to be generated in relation to Larraín and Colonia Dignidad is going to be tremendously powerful, because it is different to speak based on speculations than to speak with real images and testimonies in the first person,” he continued.
The filmmakers of the documentary requested an interview with Larraín, but “it was not possible,” they said.