Experiencing Interruptions?

The Shovel Man

Patricio Cabezas is the son of a lawyer killed at the fishing men village Pisagua during the chilean military coup in September, 1973. The discovery of a mass grave near its cemetery, reveals the evidence of terrible crimes commited against chilean citizens during Augusto Pinochet´s regime. More than 10 shot bodies were found in this clandestine grave wrapped in potatoe bags and tied with wires of flower crowns that furnished old cemeteries. A misterious natural condition in the desert keeps the bodies almost intact. Years later a group of people finds, registres and makes the world known the facts of this discovery generating great informative impact in Chile´s newly established democracy at the earlies 90´s. A young Cabezas is among the shovel men that dug in that pit. This experience gave him something to heal in his life but has left him marked forever.

  • Patricio Santander
  • Carolina Trejo
  • Mauricio Santander
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    El Palero
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 8, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • The fifth Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival (NHRIFF)
    March 18, 2017
    Best Documentary in International Panorama Award, 2017
Distribution Information
  • Sander Films
    Country: Chile
    Rights: All Rights, Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Patricio Santander

Patricio Santander is an independent documentary film maker. He is currently continuing his investigation into human right, conflict and memory issues in Latin America. With the documentary The Shovel Man was winner of The fifth Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival (NHRIFF).

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Director Statement

2014 - La ciudad de los niños (City of the Children) documentary 2016 - El Palero (The Shovel Man) documentary