In the opening scene of “Gloria,” by Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio, the film’s eponymous star is alone at a nightclub. Gloria (Paulina García) makes eye contact with a few romantic prospects— middle-aged men from Santiago, Chile— but, mostly, she navigates independently, hovering on the dance floor’s peripheries. Everything about Gloria is familiar— her guts and vulnerability, her passions and instincts for self-preservation. She is a refreshing reminder that young people do not have a monopoly on the aches and ecstasies of falling in love.
I heard someone say the first week is the hardest,” my best friend at Stanford told me a couple days before I was supposed to leave. “Why?” I asked. “I don’t know, that’s just what I heard,” she told me. I brushed off the warning with a mere shrug. I should have heeded the warning but little could have been done to prepare myself. Accepted into the program late, I had less than 12 days, when others had months, to make a decision whether or not to go. To say the least, it was the hardest decision I’ve made to date. I took a lot of advice from people who had previously been abroad who spouted the benefits of going out of the country and the wonderful time they had but failed to mention the reality of the first week. If you had asked me last week how I had felt, I would have said I regretted my decision. Now, after a weekend in the wonderful port city of Valparaiso, I love the life in Chile.
Chilean minister of economy Juan Andres Fontaine pushed his ideas for jumpstarting the nation’s economy, describing mid- and long-range ideas to put Chile on the path to recovery.