El Golpe Blanco - The White Coup

(El Golpe Blanco. Der weisse Putsch)

GDR, 1975, 70 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles
Music (Score)
Production Company


Parliamentary Elections in Chile on March 4, 1973: Reactionary forces, financially backed by the American CIA and international cooperations, attempt to gain a two-thirds majority in the National Congress, which would allow them to impeach President Salvador Allende, who was democratically elected for a six-year term in 1970. These efforts by the right-wing forces and nationalists, a so-called White Coup, seemed to be the last legal way for them to gain governmental power. When this coup fails, the Chilean reactionaries resort to an armed coup, and on September 11, 1973 they successfully launch a military-fascist government.
The documentary uncovers the tactics nationalists and their allies used to change Chilean politics during the Allende government. Original footage, photos and audio are interwoven with quotes about the CIA’s role in Chile from major British newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune, Time and The Guardian.


This release is the newly digitized original English version of the documentary that was distributed world-wide after the film came out in 1975. The English script was written and spoken by John Peet, a British journalist who defected to East Germany in 1950.


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




2023 Retrospective 50 Anos: Democracia es Memoria y Futuro, Santiago, Chile
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Press comments

“The military coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende in September 1973 was preceded by attempts to decisively weaken him in the elections in the spring of the same year. The two documentary filmmakers have reconstructed this so-called White Coup. Their film describes the attempts at political infiltration undertaken by Chile's political right with the help of the U.S. secret service, the CIA. [The documentary is] an analytical investigation that meticulously explores the social and political backgrounds and is backed up with exciting documentary material, some of which was recorded illegally. One of the most outstanding and internationally successful productions from the Heynowski & Scheumann Studio.”



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