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Fernando is Back
A Film by Silvio Caiozzi
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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)

31 minutes / color
Release: 2000
Copyright: 1998
Sale: $248

Subject areas:
Anthropology, Chile, Forensic Anthropology, Forensics, History (World), Human Rights, Latin America, South America

Related Titles:
Agustín's Newspaper: Journalism students at the University of Chile embark on an investigation of El Mercurio, the oldest newspaper in Chile.

Chile, Obstinate Memory: Patricio Guzmán's landmark film The Battle of Chile (1976) documented the "Popular Unity" period of Salvador Allende's government, the tumultuous events leading up to the 1973 coup, and Allende's death. Guzmán has returned to show The Battle of Chile in his homeland for the first time, and to explore the terrain of the confiscated (but reawakening) memories of the Chilean people.

The Pinochet Case: The story of the landmark legal case against General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, before and after his arrest in London in 1998.

Sacred Soil: The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation exhumes up to 1,000 bodies a year to identify them, and return the remains to their families.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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