Friday- Went over to Caro's house and watched a Chilean movie called Machuca. The film, set in 1973, tells the story of two boys who become friends: Gonzalo Infante is a rich, pale, member of the upper class, and Pedro Machuca is a boy from the slums who arrives at Gonzalo's private school on scholarship. Despite the storybook plotline, the setting of the movie, as well as the talent of the young actors, give it gravity. The story begins at the end of Salvador Allende's presidency. Due in part to socialist policies, Chile is facing an economic crisis and seems to be on the brink of civil war, with pro and anti socialism demonstrations taking place daily. The rallies reminded me of the FSLN and Liberales parades that I saw when I lived in Nicaragua during an election year- flags, colors, songs, trucks full of people, the entire country infused with a political fervor unlike anything I have ever experienced in the United States. Countries that have suffered through brutal dictatorships and routinely flip flop between socialism and capitalism tend to have a very politically active populace, it seems. Anyways, the tension of the political backdrop of Chile mounts as the movie progresses and it soon infects everyone's lives. Even the rich have to stand in line to buy household items, and a parent-teacher meeting erupts into chaos when the parents of the rich pupils complain about the poor boys on scholarship mixing with their sons, and accuse the principal of being a communist. Suddenly, everything changes. Allende is brought down by a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. The military takes over the school, and in the most poignant sequences in the movie, Gonzalo watches as his friend Machuca and all of his neighbors are rounded up and driven away in trucks, never to be seen again. He then returns to his own house, to find his mother and friends calmly sipping drinks in the backyard, either blissfully unaware or cognizant and uncaring of the atrocities being committed in their own city. I really don't know anything at all about Chile, so I felt like I was getting a history lesson.
Saturday- Worked all day, went to a crazy man's house to pick up a jungle gym with my brother-in-law, met Lisa and Liz for drinks at the Playwright.
Sunday- Easter! Went to church (and this year I didn't even have to sneak out early to avoid and awkward encounter during the "peace be with you" handshake...but that's a story for another day). My friend and former soccer teammate Jonny was in town, so a bunch of the old gang got together for brunch at Johnny's Luncheonette in Newtown. After that, I headed to Framingham for Easter Dinner with the family. We had lamb, perhaps to symbolize the lamb of God? Oh my gosh, we ate Jesus! Dinner was followed by a choice of three desserts, and I tried them all- carrot cake, strawberry merange, and apricot tart. Yum. That cute baby in the photo is my youngest niece, Maggie.