Chicago Boys

Directed by Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdeavellano

85 minutes / Color
English; Spanish / English subtitles
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2015

film stillAfter the 1973 coup which brought Augusto Pinochet to power, a group of Chilean economists were given the power to turn Chile into a laboratory for the world's most radical neo-liberal experiments.

These men, including Sergio de Castro and Rolf Luders, both of whom would serve as ministers of finance during the Pinochet years, met in the 1950s at the University of Chicago, where they studied under the famed economist Milton Friedman, and the man who would become their mentor, Arnold Harberger.

CHICAGO BOYS is their story from their student days through the dictatorship, told by the Chicago Boys themselves. Could their program for 'economic freedom,' such a drastic restructuring of the Chilean economy, only have been implemented by an authoritarian regime? What were they willing to do to achieve their goals? And how do they see the long-term results today?

Even though they do eventually acknowledge some of the darker sides of their work, Luders "couldn't care less about inequality," de Castro feels bad for the torturers, and they all seem completely baffled by those Chileans who have filled the streets, for five years now, in protest against their legacy.

"A great documentary [and] useful contribution." The Nation

“A conclusive document. Under Friedman and Harberger, the young Chileans studied tirelessly with the common goal of throwing off what they considered to be the shackles of Latin American provincialism... The coup itself presented an opportunity for them to glide seamlessly from the academic world into the ranks of real power.” Latin American Perspectives

"Fascinating... An important slice of South American and World history." Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

"Sheds a light on an aspect of academic, political and economic history that has received little coverage...An interesting discussion piece on the issues of economics and human rights." Educational Media Reviews Online

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Select Accolades

  • Best Documentary, 2017 Sunscreen Film Festival
  • Best Director, 2016 International Film Festival of Santiago
  • 2017 Latin American Studies Association Film Festival (LASA)
  • 2016 Chicago Latino Film Festival
  • 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival


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