Estela Bravo's 1986 documentary Returning to Chile tells the story of Chileans exiles who returned to the country in the mid-1980s. This documentary explores the experience of youth who returned to Chile without their parents after living in exile for many years. Several of the youths featured in the documentary discuss their difficulty adjusting to life in Chile and struggles with identity. A portion of the film focuses on Carlos Godoy Echegoyen, a twenty-three-year-old Socialist who died under torture in a police station in the port of Quintero in February 1985, shortly after returning from exile. Bravo interviews his mother and his sister. It also features scenes in a cemetery at Godoy's grave and the graves of others, including Victor Jara, and Salvador Allende. The film also tells the story of three children from one family whose parents were taken and who must fend for themselves.
Videos in this series include full-length copies of the documentary with subtitles in English as well as raw footage and interviews. Footage features cemetery scenes, discussions about Carlos Godoy, Chilean religious and social welfare groups, speeches by Pinochet, and other background scenes.
In the 1970s several thousand Chilean citizens fled their country to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Most of the exiles were either supporters of former president Salvador Allende or activists on the political left who feared abuse under the new government. Exiles were barred from returning for many years, but by 1984 the Chilean government agreed to grant most of the exiles permission to return home. This opening was spurred by international pressure and a domestic campaign to abolish restrictions on exiles.
Returning to Chile, which documents the return of Chilean political exiles, won a 1986 Silver Toucan Award at the Rio de Janiero International Film Festival.