March 18, 2015, BY Kathryn Kopchik

Women of the Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared at Amnesty International Concert, Mendoza, Argentina, 1988

The Bucknell Institute for Lifelong Learning (BILL) will host a screening of the award-winning feature documentary Dance of Hope on Wednesday, April 1, at 1 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The screening, which is free and open to the public, is presented in conjunction with the BILL course, Latin America: Art in Times of Turmoil, taught by Leona Martin, professor emerita of Spanish at Susquehanna University, and co-sponsored by Bucknell's Latin American Studies program. 

Film producer LaVonne Poteet, professor emerita of Latin American Studies at Bucknell, will lead a discussion following the film.

Directed by Oscar-winning director Deborah Shaffer, Dance of Hope (U.S.-Chile, 1989) presents intimate portraits of Chilean women whose loved ones were "disappeared" by the military regime that seized power from elected President Salvador Allende in 1973.

Their struggles for truth and their hope for justice unfold against the pivotal October 1988 plebiscite, when Chileans voted 'Yes' or 'No' to eight more years of Pinochet's military rule.

These courageous women became the conscience of their nation and the most respected and visible opposition to the military dictatorship, as they "danced alone" the sensuous cueca, Chile's national dance of love, to demonstrate that their loved ones are missing. The film's original score is by Wendy Blackstone, with an appearance by Sting who sings his own tribute, "They Dance Alone."

Dance of Hope premiered in the United States, England, France and Latin America in 1989 and was screened at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary aired on several national television networks in Europe and was featured in more than 250 theaters throughout the United States.

The film won Best Documentary at the New Latin American Film Festival (1989) and at Spain's International Film Festival (1990) and was honored with the coveted Palme d'Or for Best Documentary at the Cannes film festival (1991). In June 2014, Dance of Hope opened the International Documentary Film Festival in Santiago, Chile.

The Bucknell Institute for Lifelong Learning has provided adult learners in the Central Susquehanna Valley a broad range of educational and intellectual opportunities since its inauguration during the fall of 2009. The Institute is a self-supporting affiliate of Bucknell University. All of its programs and events are supported by membership and course registration fees and donations from members and friends.

For more information about the Institute's programs, call 570-522-0105 or email