Beloved Chilean Filmmaker Raúl Ruiz Dies at 70
Today, film lovers everywhere awoke to a heavy loss. Raúl Ruiz, a world-famous filmmaker native to Puerto Montt, Chile, died at 70-years old in Paris after a two-year battle with lung cancer.
The specific details of his death are unknown, but Chile Minister of Culture Luciano Cruz-Coke announced his death on Twitter just after 8:00 this morning. He posted that Ruiz “just died of a long illness.” The city of Paris, confirmed the information. He live in Paris for years after his exile during Chile’s coup led by dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1973.
The Church of Saint George-Paul in Paris will veil his remains and hold a memorial service at 10:30 a.m. on August 23. His body will return to Chile to be buried as specified by his will according to the minister.
He left a large catalogue of celebrated work having produced 113 films during his 48-years-long career. He quickly distinguished himself from late-1960s mainstream filmakers with works like Palomita Blanca as his films became increasingly ironic, surrealistic and experimental. He belonged to a generation of politically engaged Chilean directors such as Michelangelo and Helvio Littín Soto.
In 1997, he added the first National Award for Audiovisual Arts of Chile to his already overflowing trophy shelf. Earlier this year Ruiz flew to Chile to be recognized by Valaparaiso University.
In a speech balancing earnestness with comedy, he said:
"One of the great advantages of countries like ours is that they change a lot, which is no guarantee that it won’t change again. It is clear that Chile is very cheerful, perhaps too much; too optimistic, perhaps too much; and has absolute willingness to cry at the drop of a hat. I don’t say this anymore to criticize the country, rather I think it’s a healthy adaptability, especially in a country with many earthquakes.”
Many consider Ruiz as the greatest Chilean filmmaker in history with a legacy that will live on-screen for years to come.
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