Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Cross of Tarapaca
by Carmona, Eduardo, M.F.A., California State University, Los Angeles, 2020, 165; 27957830
Abstract (Summary)

The division between social classes has been a problem in Chile since its founding. Chilean society is dominated by an elite that wields enormous economic and political influence; its power became wholly evident during the War of the Pacific in 1879. This conflict was profoundly rooted in the country’s economic state and colonialism. The alliance between Bolivia and Peru, forged in secret treaties, and the taxes that exploited the affluent Chilean-British northern nitrate locations ultimately led to a fight between Chile and the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. The war was supported by the German and British economic interests in the region; the British had vast sums of money invested in nitrate extraction, and the Germans had a keen colonial interest. This encounter was the canvas upon which the social differences between Chilean elites and the front soldiers (i.e., the famous “roto Chileno”) were delineated. A screenplay for a war drama called The Cross of Tarapaca will expose the profound differences between the elites and the lower social classes. The title refers to the name of a Chilean military medal that the elite considers a symbol of social and political status. The narrative concerns the struggles of a frontline soldier, Danilo Fuentes (one of the few medal recipients), with an ambitious Captain, Horacio Bustamante. Bustamante will stop at nothing–even if it means betraying his platoon—to obtain The Cross of Tarapaca. This project has enabled me to discover a passion for researching historical and social issues and presenting them through the medium of film.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Berumen, Enrique
Commitee: Villalobos, Ligiah, Van Slyke, Patrick, Hernandez, Ximena A., Carmona, Francisco, Diaz, Rosalia, Bloom, Alan, Blackwood, Carolyn, Lewin, Francisco
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: Television, Film and Theatre
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/1(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Film studies, Latin American history, Latin American Studies
Keywords: Chilean films, Pacific War 1879, Screenwriting, Scripts, Tarapaca Desert, Screenplays
Publication Number: 27957830
ISBN: 9798662500921
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