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April 5, 2021 | Film,

A Timeline of El Estallido Social (The Social Outbreak)

The Return of the Dragon (APR 10-27) is an in-depth exploration of theatremaking during not only a revolution, but in the midst of a pandemic. This 23-minute film looks at Guillermo Calderón’s theatrical projects, such as Mateluna and Dragón, and how art responds directly to and interacts with the political world around them.

Based in Chile, there has been enormous upheaval in the past few years; former Artistic Director David Dower reported back to us in 2020 after returning from a scouting trip. Chile’s current protests and violence stem from decades long, if not centuries long, economic and sociopolitical inequalities. This environment is not only the backdrop of Calderon’s work, but the subject of it.

Before diving into The Return of the Dragon, we’ve compiled a very brief and not nearly complete timeline of Chile to help contextualize the film. We hope this helps as a resource and encourages you to find out more information about current events in Chile. And please feel free to share anything you find in the comments so that all of our audience members can take a deeper dive together.

Prior to 2010

Governed by a dictatorship in the 1970s up until the late 1980s and then rife with changing powers until the early 2000s, Chile remained in an unstable relationship between its people and its politicians. This is the root of uprising and sets the stage for the economic downturn to come years later.

By 2010 however, Chile had made amendments to their constitution and became a pseudo socialist country with rather progressive policies and President Michelle Bachelet at the helm. In a mere 30 years, Chile had completely transformed its leadership and government style. Until…


  • Right-wing candidate Sebastián Piñera defeats former President Eduardo Frei in presidential election, ending 20 years of rule by the left-wing Concentracion coalition.
  • Hundreds die and widespread damage is caused as massive earthquake strikes central Chile. The 8.8 magnitude quake is the biggest to hit the country in 50 years.
  •  Thirty-three miners trapped deep underground for 69 days are winched to safety, watched by TV audiences around the world.




As mentioned early, this is merely a briefing of the current situation in Chilé and how the country arrived this moment. However, after viewing The Return of The Dragon, it will be impossible not to recognize that the sounds of a revolution are the same wherever they take place.

Join us for this striking documentary APR 10-27, only at ArtsEmerson.

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