Montana State University

Documentary on Chilean poet to be screened April 11 at MSU

March 31, 2005 -- From MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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A new documentary film that examines the life of Pablo Neruda, Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet, will be shown Monday, April 11, at Montana State University. Writer and director Mark Eisner will attend the free public screening which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater in Linfield Hall.

To make his documentary, Eisner used archival footage and interviewed everyone from Neruda's best friends to a 92-year-old packer who taught Neruda to ride a horse while fleeing into exile. "Pablo Neruda! Presente!" begins with narrator Isabel Allende fleeing Chile after the 1973 military coup by Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Neruda died 12 days later, many say of a broken heart. The film then takes viewers back to Neruda's childhood when he was a literary prodigy and began publishing poems in magazines. The film follows him through his lonely years as a consul in the Far East to his becoming a Communist senator, political fugitive and presidential candidate.

Eisner, a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center for Latin America, initiated the Pablo Neruda Centennial Project while in Chile several years ago. He edited "Essential Neruda: Selected Poems." He received a master's degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford after spending three years in Latin America where his adventures included extensive backpacking trips and working on a rustic ranch in the rugged Central Valley of Chile.

Eisner's visit to MSU is sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Department of Media and Theater Arts. Besides attending the screening, he will meet with Spanish, film and poetry students.

Evelyn Boswell at (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu