The Fall of Fujimori
Filmmaker Ellen Perry was granted unprecedented access to her subject in order to make her documentary The Fall of Fujimori. When Perry interviewed him, former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was in exile in Japan, and in the midst of a book tour promoting his "successful" efforts against terrorism in Peru. The film uses news footage and interviews to show how Fujimori, affectionately known as "El Chino," rose to power with a populist appeal. He was an outsider to the mainstream of Peruvian politics, like the impoverished native people to whom he made his pitch. Under the pretext of combating the terrorism of the Shining Path and the MRTA and spurring the nation's disastrous economy, Fujimori and his administration, particularly National Intelligence Service head Vladimir Montesinos (formerly a defense lawyer for drug traffickers), viciously cracked down on dissent, instituting death squads and engaging in a "dirty war." Fujimori proudly discusses the capture and public humiliation of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman, and the successful assault on MRTA gunmen holding the Japanese embassy. But Perry also shows the abuses of power and rampant corruption that eventually led Fujimori to resign in disgrace. Still hoping to return to power one day, Fujimori blames Montesinos for his woes, and claims a shocking degree of ignorance as to his secret police chief's activities. The Fall of Fujimori was shown at the 2005 Asian American International Film Festival.