Suicide and the Novelist

How Did Salvador Allende Really Die?

Salvador Allende.

Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman is probably best known to Americano audiences for his play Death and the Maiden, a parable about torture that Roman Polanski adapted for the big screen in 1994, starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley (there were two other versions, a 2016 Iranian reboot plus 2020’s The Secrets We Keep, with Noomi Rapace and Chris Messina). From 1970-1973 the Buenos Aires-born Dorfman served as a cultural and press advisor to Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile. In 1971 Dorfman co-authored How to Read Donald Duck, Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic, which has just been re-published by OR Books.

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Ed Rampell was named after legendary CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College and is an L.A.-based film historian/critic who co-organized the 2017 70th anniversary Blacklist remembrance at the Writers Guild theater in Beverly Hills and was a moderator at 2019’s “Blacklist Exiles in Mexico” filmfest and conference at the San Francisco Art Institute. Rampell co-presented “The Hollywood Ten at 75” film series at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and is the author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States and co-author of The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.    

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