Back to Mapuche Cinema page


  • Punalka, el alto del Bio Bio – Dir. Jeannette Paillan, 1995, documentary, SD, 26 mins – Mapudungun with Spanish subtitles
  • Wallmapu – Dir. Jeannette Paillian, 2001, documentary, SD, 63 mins – Mapudungun and Spanish


  • The Filmmaker Jeannette Paillan – Dirs. Guillermo Bert, Anthony Rauld, 2012, documentary, HD, 9:38 mins – Spanish with English subtitles [view video]

While New Zealand scholar Kim Mazur referenced Paillan’s “Wallmapu” (2001) as the first film on the Mapuche by a Mapuche director1, it is actually Paillan’s first film, “Punalka” (1995), that takes this role.

Having said this, it is clear that Paillan approached both films with the consciousness of documenting the Mapuche from a Mapuche perspective. This includes giving prominent placement within her pieces to both land and language as foundational aspects of the Mapuche worldview, while also documenting the ongoing clash of the Indigenous Mapuche worldview with the settler-colonist Chilean one.

While not explicitly video art onto themselves, both of Paillan’s documentaries aesthetically emerge from the video art tradition of serving as a conscious reaction against mainstream cinema and journalistic practices, using media tools to express previously unexpressed perspectives – in this case, the radical act of humanizing the Mapuche.

To this end, “Wallmapu” is impressive in its simple act of chronologizing Mapuche modern history within the past 500 years in relationship to Spain, Chile and Argentina, reclaiming long hispanicized Mapuche names and narrating reference points omitted by standard history.

While Paillan’s work as a filmmaker ended as she moved on to focus on other facets of being a comunicador/a, her work marks the beginning of Mapuche Fourth Cinema.

Paillan is currently director of the FICWALLMAPU film festival in Temuco, Chile.

[1] Kim Mazur, “Jeannette Paillan, Wallmapu,” Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue (1 December 2007).

Skip to content