Synopsis by Mark Deming
The many passions of the legendary poet Pablo Neruda are explored in this documentary from filmmaker Dario Baldi. Born in Chile in 1904, Neruda developed a keen interest in politics as a young man, as well as a love for writing that encompassed polemics, history, and poems which displayed a keen eye for both the remarkable and the ordinary. Baldi traces Neruda's life from his early literary influences and his fascination with the poetic expression of love, and goes on to document his populist political philosophies and how they manifested themselves in both his work and his personal life. The film includes interviews with a number of Neruda's friends, contemporaries, and colleagues, as well as other Latin artists who have been impacted by Neruda's legacy, while actors recreate several key moments from the poet's experiences. Pablo: The Poet's Lives received its North American premier at the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival.