Salvador Allende, Ho Chi Minh Historical Encounter in ‘The Meeting’



Underscoring its historical importance, a further production marking the 50th death anniversary of Chile’s socialist president Salvador Allende could well be in the works. The historical drama, provisionally titled “The Meeting,” details a historical encounter between the doomed president, whose downfall heralded the rise of the infamous military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. 

Producers Patricio Ochoa of Chile’s La Merced Prods., Cristóbal Sotomayor of Twentyfour Seven, Spain and U.S.-based executive producer Hebe Tabachnik of Lokro Production are in talks with potential production partners in Vietnam and France and with possible international sales agents. 

Gonzalo Maza, the screenwriter behind Chile’s Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman” is attached as a script doctor to the screenplay penned by filmmaker-writer Antonio Luco (“Beaverland,” “Wisdom for Heroes”).

“The Meeting” relates the fateful 1969 meeting between Allende, who was then Chile’s Senate president, and Vietnam’s President Ho Chi Minh, a frail 79 and on his last days.  

Allende, thrice defeated in his bid to forge Chile’s democratic path to socialism, was determined to meet Ho Chi Minh. Harassed by his political rivals, including the renowned poet Pablo Neruda, he goes to Vietnam, accompanied only by his comrade-in-arms Eduardo “Coco” Paredes and a local interpreter. The meeting is cancelled as soon as he arrives but Allende is determined to meet the legendary political and spiritual leader. “Risking his political future in Chile, Salvador will not leave until he meets the myth,” the synopsis goes.

“What surprised and captivated me about this historical event is the relevance it had for the history of two distant and different countries, and even it was unknown to most of us, it marked the future of our story,” said Ochoa, who is attending the San Sebastian Festival as part of the Chilean delegation.

“In 1969, a promise opened bilateral relations between the two nations. Today, after more than 50 years, we have the opportunity to tell this story and continue celebrating together so many years of mutual commitment to the development of our two countries,” Sotomayor concurred.  

Allende was the last foreign politician to sit with Ho Chi Minh before his passing. Their meeting paved the way for bilateral development between both countries, as two years after that meeting, in March 1971, diplomatic relations were established between the two nations. 

Cristóbal Sotomayor, Hebe Tabachnik and Patricio Ochoa
Courtesy of La Merced Producciones and Twentyfourseven

“Allende and Ho Chi Minh lived decades ago, but the impact of their lives and actions reverberate in this troubled present. Their meeting in 1969 was an event that changed the course of history. This intimate story reveals the men behind the myth and the powerful voices that still today relentlessly shape the destiny of the world,” said Tabachnik in San Sebastian, who is also an executive producer of “Valentina” (2020) and “The Perfect David” (2021).

As potentially the first co-production between Chile and Vietnam, it is hoped that the film will herald new further collaboration opportunities and a broader cultural exchange between the two disparate countries. 

“The Meeting” is backed by Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN), as well as the institutions under the aegis of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dirac and ProChile. 

La Merced Prods. and Twentyfour Seven have previously collaborated on Chilean box office hit “Papá al rescate” (2023) as well as “Un loco matrimonio en cuarentena” (2023) and “Consuegros” (2022). 

OcioMedia, led by Francisco Guijón (CEO at TVN, A+E Networks SVP Americas and Digital International) has boarded the project as a media consultant. 

Two other titles marking Allende’s demise 50 years ago have been screened at San Sebastian: Raul Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento’s docu-fiction hybrid “Socialist Realism,” which had its world premiere at the festival, and mini-series “Allende, the Thousand Days,” sneak peeked at the festival, to which Spain’s Onza Distribution has acquired international rights. 


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