Bear Story

Have you seen Bear Story yet?  It is a short film from Chile that just won Best Animated Short–beating out Pixar even–at the 2016 Oscars.

On its surface, it looks to be an endearing sweet story about a family of bears.  However, it is so much more than that: it’s an allegory of events that happened in many families in Chile (and other southern cone countries) in the 70’s and 80’s during the Guerra Sucia.  The film is very well made, and is intriguing on its own.  That said, having studied the Guerra Sucia, the film is heart wrenching.  The filmmaker is telling his grandfather’s story, and his grandfather had not seen the film until Oscar awards day.

My classes read the TPRS novel about Guerra Sucia as part of our human rights unit, and the tendrils of this conflict are woven throughout so many other topics.  Our essential question for the topic is “Could a dictatorship ever happen in the US?”.  Being an election year in the US has made this unit particularly interesting as students who are soon-to-be voters have defended their opinions on the current candidates.  The sequelae of the US’ role in these events has even come up in recent presidential candidate debates.

The film is Chile’s second nominee for an Oscar, and its first winner.  Its success has been splashed across social media and the press, and I have collected several links and resources below.  I hope to develop more resources for the film in the future, but as of now, here’s what I’ve collected:

Leopoldo Osorio, inspirador de Bear Story: “Mi circo fue la Cárcel Pública”

some testy moments in this exchange:✓&terms=Leopoldo+Osorio&sources%5B%5D=1&sources%5B%5D=2&sources%5B%5D=3&sources%5B%5D=4&sources%5B%5D=5&sources%5B%5D=6&sources%5B%5D=7&sources%5B%5D=8&sources%5B%5D=9&sources%5B%5D=11&sources%5B%5D=12&sources%5B%5D=13&sources%5B%5D=16&sources%5B%5D=18&sources%5B%5D=19&sources%5B%5D=20&sources%5B%5D=21&sources%5B%5D=25&sources%5B%5D=26&sources%5B%5D=27&sources%5B%5D=28&sources%5B%5D=29&sources%5B%5D=31&sources%5B%5D=32&sources%5B%5D=33&sources%5B%5D=34&sources%5B%5D=35&sources%5B%5D=36&sources%5B%5D=37&sources%5B%5D=38&sources%5B%5D=39&sources%5B%5D=15&sources%5B%5D=22&sources%5B%5D=23&sources%5B%5D=14&sources%5B%5D=17&categories%5B%5D=1&categories%5B%5D=2&categories%5B%5D=3&categories%5B%5D=4&categories%5B%5D=5&categories%5B%5D=8&categories%5B%5D=6&categories%5B%5D=10

From BBC

from Time (in English):

Time article from 1973 about the coup that toppled the Allende government:

I hope you find this helpful and as interesting as I have.  Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Bear Story

  1. Jane says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I’m currently reading Guerra Sucia with my PreAP classes and now I hope to incorporate Bear Story into the unit as well.

  2. I agree – the video is well done, but so sad. Thanks for the reminder to use this when I read La Guerra Sucia with my students!
    Thanks for sharing these resources and others on your blog.

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