A new documentary film on Pablo Neruda, vital and dynamic: Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling
We are making a groundbreaking documentary on the Chilean Nobel Laureate: his life, poetry and fight for social justice. Help us complete it by making a tax-deductible donation to the project. In return, you can receive a DVD of the film when it’s finished as a thank you, and more. This is a grassroots film. Please, join the hundreds who have made a donation already, so the world can experience the power of Pablo and his poetry.
“The greatest poet of the twentieth century—in any language.”
—Gabriel García Márquez
This will be the first feature length documentary on Neruda in English. In fact, there has never been a documentary on him in any language with the dynamic scope as ours, but we need your help to complete it.
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The documentary will be an intimate portrait introducing a global audience to the universal power of Neruda’s poetry, while offering those already familiar with him further insight and enjoyment. It aims to inspire and ignite emotion, from his classic love poetry to his activist political verse to his beautiful, simple meditations. We also hope it will foster social awareness by demonstrating how he used the power of the pen to fight suffering and injustice; that through his words, he gave voice to others. The film will not be hagiographic or biased. It will be lyrical, poignant and penetrating.
Compelling biography represents an idea larger than its individual subject, even if the subject seems to be larger than life. In the case of Neruda, we use the theme of "the poet's calling". The word "calling" infers duty yet also sounds like a natural impulse. It conveys a sense of vocation, and at the same time a sense of activity: the poet is simultaneously called and is calling to others. For Neruda, poetry was a rallying cry for the social function of art, a way to bear witness to social and environmental wrongs.
The Poet's Calling is composed on a tapestry of archival footage; stunning shots of his native land; captivating poetic sequences; and insightful, sometimes emotional interviews with notable poets, critics, his few remaining close friends, and the common man and woman "in the street". A fantastic original score, composed by the Chilean exile Quique Cruz, drives the film.
Why a film on Pablo Neruda right now? Because Neruda’s impact is alive and potent here in the 21st Century. His work still pertains to our society and sensibility, on all continents. It still resonates, is still so relevant and important--his love poetry, his political poetry, all the poetry in between and outside. As well, the lessons and the entertainment from his monumental personal biographical story are timeless. So are his political activities, and how he used poetry to promoted justice.
He is consistently found at the top of poetry bestseller lists right now. When you go to The Poetry Foundation’s website, the first poem in their “Most Popular Poems” section is Neruda’s “Sonnet XVII” (the translation happens to be by the film’s producer Mark Eisner). Why this documentary now? Because it’s time for a film that illustrates the important—for many reasons—personal history and poetry of one of the most popular poets being read in the United States—if not the world—right now. His popularity actually seems to be constantly increasing, at least in the United States. Perhaps more than any another poet, he shows up in our current culture, pop to haute--from Lisa quoting him in The Simpsons to superstar singer Taylor Swift writing that he was the inspiration behind her recent multi-platinum album “Red”, to Placido Domingo playing Neruda in the Los Angeles Opera’s 2010 original production of “Il Postino” (an international tour followed suit).
Great cloth banners of Neruda’s words were hung in San Francisco in tense political times in the first years of the 21st Century. Murals all around the United States and the world feature his image. His romantic verses still evoke the same provocative emotion as they ever have, his lines are still told by one love to another, sales of his books spike just before Valentines’ Day. This is not just in the United States, but globally-- in his time few other poets had been translated into as many languages. There are no geographic boundaries for this film.
Help us share Pablo with the world and support the project.