Since its inception, the documentary work by Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff has stood out for risk and creativity in its themes, treatments and points of view. With eight feature films to their credit, their poetic journey is full of turning points and mutations that have accompanied the technological and cultural transformations of their time, challenging the most stable and conservative premises of what is meant by documentary filmmaking.
Their work has gone from a very physical and gestural first record linked to the lightening of the cameras and the voyeur drive, present in films such as Martin Vargas from Chile (2000) or A Man Aside (2002), which in turn emphasized the performative dimension of its protagonists (the boxer Martín Vargas in the first, and a fantasist manager in the second); towards a visual stylization that began with the exercise of “inverted ethnography” Welcome to New York (2006), found a hinge in the ethical exploration of the field (and its limits) in News (2009); and reaches a climax in Surire (2015), a documentary about a salt flat in the highlands where landscape, nature, animals and humans are observed from a glance that combines the sensory with the materiality.
Before conclusions, the documentaries by Perut + Osnovikoff raise questions, they interrogate the limits and the common senses. This is the case, for example, of its two entries around the social memory, on the one hand Clever Monkey Pinochet versus La Moneda’s Pigs (2004), where groups of school children represent the military coup through acting improvisations where the game is combined with the parody, speaking of a conflicting present that inhabits the bodies, an issue that they emphasized even more in The Death of Pinochet (2011), a “social fresco” around the day of Pinochet’s death.
Although their work has been discussed and even marginalized from some circuits, their proposal has only grown and opened up new avenues, including documentary film as a plastic and social exploration.
Iván Pinto, La Fuga.