Chilean Films in Exile – Shorts by Juan Forch

GDR, 1975/1978, 50 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Production Company


The Chilean director and poet Juan Forch (1948-) immigrated via Mexico to East Germany after the military coup in 1973. He joined the DEFA Studio for Animation Films in Dresden and learned the craft of animation. Between 1975 and 1978, he made several animation and documentary films drawing on his Chilean background and his political experiences in exile. The photo collages Chile Lives (1976) and Nobody Can Stop the Revolution (1976), the latter in collaboration with media artist Lutz Dammbeck, proclaim the hope of a victory of the progressive forces over the Pinochet dictatorship. The collage Chile (1975) by Forch and Jörg Herrmann reveals the USA as the backer of the military coup on September 11, 1973. The trick collage Hitlerpinochet (1975) by Forch and Jörg Herrmann draws similarities between the political slogans of Adolf Hitler and Augusto Pinochet. In 1976, Forch filmed Chilean students in Dresden drawing a mural in honor of former President Salvador Allende. The cut-out animation film Neutron Peace? (1977) offers a warning against a nuclear war emanating from the USA. Forch creates a visually and colorfully powerful epic about the life of the indigenous Mapuche in the cut-out film Lautaro (1977), his most comprehensive work at the Dresden studio. Finally, the animation film Rosaura (1978) by Lothar Barke atmospherically translates a poem by Juan Forch into images.


The playlist Chilean Films in Exile – Shorts by Juan Forch includes the following eight films with English and/or Spanish subtitles. The films can be also rented as single titles.

The films are also available for a Digital Site License for educational partners. Please find more information here.


Rosaura (East Germany, 1978, dir. Lothar Barke, 6 min., color, animation)


Lautaro (East Germany, 1977, dir. Juan Forch, 18 min., color, cut-out animation)


Neutron Peace? (East Germany, 1977, dir. Juan Forch, 2 min., color, cutout animation)


La Brigada – A Mural for the Unidad Popular in Dresden (East Germany, 1976-77, dirs. Juan Forch, Rolf Hofmann, 11 min., color, doc.)


Chile Lives (East Germany, 1976, dirs. Michael Börner, Juan Forch, 2 min., color, photo collage animation)


Nobody Can Stop the Revolution (East Germany, 1976, dir. Juan Forch, 6 min., color, animation)


Chile (East Germany, 1975, dirs. Juan Forch, Jörg Herrmann, 2 min., color, collage animation)


Hitlerpinochet (East Germany, 1975, dirs. Juan Forch, Jörg Herrmann, 3 min., color, animation)



2024 Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, Amherst, USA
2024 Retrospective Focus: Chile in the Heart, International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands



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