Center for Latin American Studies
University of California, Berkeley


Wednesday, September 11, 2013 
5:00 PM
105 Boalt Hall 
Berkeley Law School
(Bancroft Way near College Avenue)

On the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Pinochet to power in Chile, the Center for Latin American Studies presents a special screening:

Directed by Costa-Gavras (United States, 1982)

In the wake of September 11, 1973, the American journalist Charles Horman disappears during the military coup in Chile. His father, a conservative businessman from New York, and his wife set out to find him. (English, 122 minutes)
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (1983)

Following the screening Charles' widow Joyce Horman (played by Sissy Spacek in the film)
will join the audience via Skype for a live discussion.


Chilean Professor Beatriz Manz, a comanding force within the Center for Latin American Studies department (CLAS) at UC Berkeley, has asked me to inform you about this upcoming CLAS event. On her behalf, I apologize for getting this information to you at such short notice, however, Joyce Horman just confirmed her participation at the screening. She will be addressing the audience via Skype.

Missing (1982) is based on the true story of North American journalist Charles Horman's disappearance, days after the U.S backed coup d'état of September 11, 1973, in Chile. The film, directed by Costa Gavras, stars two major Hollywood actors, Jack Lemmon (in the role of Charles Horman's father) and Sissy Spacek (in the role of Charles Horman's wife).

Charles Horman's widow, Joyce Horman, now heads the Charles Horman Truth Foundation, Seeking Full Truth Through Litigation.

In 1982, I was studying Media Communications at Laney College, and doing an internship at KTVU-Channel 2, Oakland. I remember that Missing caused quite a stir in the United States, most specifically within the State Department, which issued a written statement condemning the film for its depiction of the US government. At the time, United States citizens had blind faith in their government and its protection of its citizens abroad, under any circumstances.    

New York Times film critic Vincent Canby, touched on the subject in his 1982 review of the film.  


Working at KTVU-2, and being Chilean, I was offered the opportunity to report on a gathering with Charles Horman's parents, Ed and Elizabeth Horman, held at a private home in the East Bay Hills. I specifically remember two remarks from Ed Horman. He told the audience that his daughter-in-law, Joyce Horman (the character played by Sissy Spacek) had become very politically active after her husband's disappearance. This did not surprise me. What did surprise me was that Ed Horman said that in spite of what had happened in Chile to his son under US government official's command, he could not bring himself to publicly denounce the United States government. I often reflect on why Ed Horman made such a statement. Elizabeth Horman, Charles' mother, said very little at the reception.


Hope to see you at the screening!



Paula Tejeda

Chile Lindo 

Wiki pedia



Missing: The film was banned in Chile during Pinochet's dictatorship, even though neither Chile nor Pinochet are ever mentioned by name (although the Chilean cities of Viña del Mar and Santiago are).[3]


Missing won the Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Lemmon), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sissy Spacek) and Best Picture. It also won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival,[4] where Lemmon was awarded Best Actor for his performance.[4]


Both the film and Thomas Hauser's book The Execution of Charles Horman were removed from the United States market following a lawsuit filed against Costa-Gavras and Universal Pictures's (then) parent company MCA by former ambassador Nathaniel Davis and two others for defamation of character. A lawsuit against Hauser himself was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. Davis and his associates lost their lawsuit, after which the film was re-released by Universal in 2006.



Following is a link to a NYT's opinion piece written by Ariel Dorfman. Ariel Dorfman is the author of the novel Death and the Maiden and, most recently, a memoir, Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile.

Published: September 7, 2013