Though not widely known outside his native country, Augusto Gongorra was a star, even a hero, in his native Chile. During the 1970s, this articulate, telegenic journalist chronicled the oppression of the Pinochet regime via underground broadcasts, and his high-profile media career continued from there. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his early sixties, he is now several years into the disease and declining. The forced isolation brought on by COVID only compounds his condition. Thankfully, his loving wife Paulina, a former actress and Chile’s past Minister of Culture, is right there to reassure and care for him as best she can.
Alberdi’s highly intimate, altogether stunning portrait is essentially a bittersweet romance, showing what true love can achieve under the most devastating circumstances. This disease has rendered Gongorra by turns childlike and gentle, frustrated and frightened. The director alternates affecting, often wrenching scenes in the present day with clips from past broadcasts and home movies showing Augusto in his prime. A younger, radiant Paulina stood beside him then and remains steadfast now, even as he fades away from her. This small miracle of a film leavens the heartbreak by evoking an abiding love that not even Alzheimer’s can destroy.