Synopsis by Mark Deming
Set in Chile in the early 1990s, when the brutal oppression of the Pinochet regime had given way to a democratic government (and a capitalist economy that proved to have flaws of its own), El Entusiasmo/Enthusiasm begins in 1984, when Guillermo (Alvaro Rudolphi) introduces two of his friends to each other -- Fernando (Alvaro Escobar) and Isabel (Maribel Verdu). A decade later, Fernando and Isabel have a son, and they join forces with Guillermo to start a business offering sightseeing expeditions for tourists visiting the newly-democratic nation. Fernando gets an idea for a special multi-media presentation that would educate viewers on Chile's history, culture and political legacy, and it proves to be a major success -- enough so that he's roped by a group of less-than-trustworthy developers who want his help with a project building luxury housing in the desert. However, this is the opposite of the utopian collective that Guillermo had dreamed of years ago; Fernando's new ideals and associates alienate both Guillermo and Isabel, who turn against Fernando and into each others arms. El Entusiasmo/Enthusiasm was shown as part of the "Directors Fortnight" program at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.