Bear Story: Historia de un Oso Review

‘Bear Story is inspired by my family history, specifically my grandfather who was exiled from Chile during the 1973 coup d’etat. That was the starting point for the story of the film, which talks about the importance of family and how terrible it is to be torn apart from your loved ones’

‘The film is directly influenced by the Pinochet dictatorship. My grandfather, Leopoldo Osorio, was detained in 1973 during Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile. He was incarcerated for two years, after which he fled to England, forced to live in exile and be apart from his family. During my childhood, I felt the invisible presence of an absent grandfather, who was not dead, but was not present in my life. My short film Bear Story is not about the life of my grandfather, but it is inspired by his absence and the mark it left on me. Bear Story leaves some questions unanswered. What happened to the bear’s family? Where are they? These are the same questions that thousands of families in Chile ask themselves, who up to this day, still don’t know where their loved ones ended up. I hope these questions never need to be asked again’ Gabriel Osorio, Director.

Through gritted teeth and a lumpy throat I watched this film with my family. Asides from being a wonderful visionary experience, Bear Story tells the sad tale of military dictatorship in a novel and poetic way. For many hours after the film ended,  I was haunted by the melancholic soundtrack and the gentle way that such heavy issues were tackled, The ingenious animation left an imprint on my mind so deep that I have spent all weekend thinking about the experience of my own family, in particular that of both of my grandfathers who were imprisoned and tortured. The viewer is unsure what really happens with the bear’s family (I now know that this is intentional), adding to the feeling of solitude and displacement that the film so vividly portrays. I would recommend this film to everyone who wishes to explain to their children what exile means.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the 2016 Oscars nomination and delighted that our story and that of all those who have suffered exile and brutality at the hands of military regimes, is reaching audiences worldwide.


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