Best known here in the U.S. as the author of some of the greatest — if not the greatest — poetry of the 20th century, Chile’s Pablo Neruda was considered in his country one of the most dangerous men alive. His romantic and erotic poems scandalized conservatives which was bad enough, but Neruda was also a communist activist and politician whose poetry electrified Chile’s working classes. That gained him the permanent enmity of the country’s fascists and fascist-sympathizing wealthy elite, (so much so that Neruda eventually was assassinated by the government of Augusto Pinochet in 1973). It wasn’t his first time facing official sanction however: 25 years earlier, the communist party was outlawed and a warrant (really a bill of attainder) was issued for Neruda’s arrest, forcing him into hiding and, eventually, into a five-year long exile.
The Pablo Larraín-directed film Neruda depicts that tumultuous and, danger aside, absurd moment in Chilean history, with Luis Gnecco starring as Neruda and Gael García Bernal as the increasingly law enforcement officer tasked with finding Neruda and, let’s be honest, possibly not being able to bring him in alive. The film is Chile’s official foreign language Oscar entry and with that campaign comes a new trailer, which you can watch above.
Mercedes Morán also stars in Neruda, written by Guillermo Calderón and produced by Renan Artukmac, Peter Danner, Fernando Del Nido, Juan Pablo García, Axel Kuschevatzky, Juan de Dios Larraín, Ignacio Rey, Gaston Rothschild, Jeff Skoll, and Alex Zito. It’s set for U.S. release December 16.