Miguel Littín's 1969 debut feature Jackal of Nahueltoro / El chacal de Nahueltoro has been named the Best Chilean film of all time by a poll among film professionals—including filmmakers, actors, journalists, critics, programmers, and scholars—which was conducted by the web portal CineChile last year.
Starring Nelson Villagra and based on a real life story, the film follows José del Carmen Valenzuela, dubbed “the Jackal of Nahueltoro,” who savagely killed a widow and her five children, then put heavy stones on their hands and chests to prevent their souls from following him. He was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad in 1963. The film participated in the official competition at the 20th edition of the Berlinale.
The number two spot in CineChile's poll was for Raúl Ruiz's Tres tristes tigres / Three Sad Tigers (1968), followed by Aldo Francia's Valparaíso, mi amor / Valparaiso, My Love (1969), Patricio Guzmán's The Battle of Chile, Part One, Two and Three (1975, 1976, 1978), Patricio Kaulen's Largo viaje / A Long Journey (1967).
The top ten of Best Chilean films also included Andrés Wood's Machuca (2004), Ricardo Larraín's La frontera / The Frontier (1991), Pablo Larraín's El club / The Club (2015), Helvio Soto's Caliche Sangriento / Bloody Nitrate (1969), and Cristián Sánchez's El zapato chino / The Chinese Shoe (1979). Interestingly enough, five of the films in the top ten were made between 1967 and 1969. The most recent film in the list is Larraín's The Club from 1969.
Click here to see the complete list of 50 titles (in Spanish).