During General Augusto Pinochet's reign in Chile following the 1973 coup, thousands of civilians were 'disappeared' - arrested and killed - by the military. FERNANDO IS BACK follows the workings of Chile's Forensic Identification Unit in its quest to reclaim the identities of the disappeared.
Founded in 1994, the Forensic Identification Unit is composed of doctors and specialists in anthropology and forensics. They compare the victim's skulls, bones and teeth with family photographs, dental records and medical histories, in an attempt to find a match. The Forensic Identification Unit's goal is to identify the remains of all disappeared, and to determine the cause of death, thereby reclaiming the disappeared histories and identities, one by one.
FERNANDO IS BACK documents the Forensic Identification Unit's work to identify Fernando Olivares Mori, a husband, father and son, who disappeared when he was 27 years old. The film shows the powerful impact of the Unit's work for one family, indicating it for the entire country.
"Powerful and moving, this film shows the viewer the consequences of the Chilean dictatorship and what it did to the people of the nation. This film would be a fine addition to a multicultural history collection. Recommended."—Educational Media Reviews Online
2001 Award of Merit in Film, Latin American Studies Association
2001 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (USA)
2001 Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival, Salt Lake City
1998 International Catholic Film Award, Valdivia (Chile)
Best Documentary, 1998 Havana International Film Festival
Best Documentary, 1999 Montevideo International Film Festival (Uruguay)
Best Documentary, 1999 Short Films Festival International (Chile)
10th Festival of New Latin-American Cinema (Providence, Rhode Island)