A Swedish-Argentinean cameraman named Leonardo Henrichsen films his own murder. 33 years later a Chilean journalist searches through the events that lead to Leonardo´s death and discovers the identity of the man who shot him.
29th June 1973 in Santiago de Chile. Leonardo Henrichsen, a Swedish Argentinean cameraman working for SVT, Sucesos Argentinos, and NBC was outside La Moneda, the presidential palace, trying to film an attempted military coup against President Salvador Allende.
An old truck stops across the street and a soldier gets out and starts to shoot into the air. Henrichsen’s lens zooms in the soldier, who aims the pistol directly at him. Shouting, shots, chaos, and moments later, Leonardo lays sprawled on the pavement, while his camera points up at a blank sky. A soldier rushes over to him, grabs the camera, yanks out a reel of film and destroys it, unaware that there is a second chamber with six minutes of exposed film inside.
Henrichsen dies before he arrives at the hospital. This is witnessed by Eduardo Labarca, a Chilean journalist. He saw the soldier throwing the camera out into a sewer and managed to recover it two days later. The 16mm Eclair camera was still in one piece and the exposed film was intact. Henrichsen’s images were smuggled out of the country and broadcast around the world.
Soon Leonardo, who had filmed the Latin America of the 1950s and the progressive decline into violence of the 1960s and 1970s, turned into a symbol for the freedom of press and the struggle against dictatorships. In Argentina Henrichsen’s wife and children try to come to terms with the loss of their husband and father. Out of grief and fear Heather Henrichsen decides never to talk about her husband’s murder and the Josie, 8, and her brother Andrés, 3, are left to wonder in silence.
Recently Chilean journalist Ernesto Carmona found the files with the names of the murderer and of those responsible for the death of Leonardo and contacted the Henrichsen family. Josie persuaded her mother and brothers to launch a legal case. After 32 years of silence, Heather Henrichsen accepted the determination of her daughter to let the past come into their lives and to seek justice.
With the support of Ernesto Carmona the family starts a journey to uncover the events that lead to the death of Leonardo. This becomes the occasion to witness the most unusual and telling images of the last 40 years of a con.
Title: Final Image
Production year: 2008
Length: 91 min & 54 min (TV version)
Director: Andres Habegger
Producers: Gema Juárez Allen, Andrés Habegger, Fredrik Gertten, Juan Manuel Egaña, Lise Lense-Möller, Maxi Dubois
Executive Producer: Maximiliano Dubois
Co-Executive production: Fredrik Gertten
Editor: Jesper Osmund
With support from: The Swedish Film Institute, The Danish Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, INCAA
Sarasota Film Festival 2012 – Winner for Best Documentary
One World Film Festival 2012 – Winner of Audience Award and The Rudolf Vrba Jury Award
MIFF Awards – Winner of Best Documentary and Best Film
2012 – Hotdocs – Top Ten Audience Favourite
In selection: CPH:DOX 2012, One World Film Festival 2012, Sundance Film Festival 2012, Sarasota Film Festival 2012, Hotdocs 2012, IDFA 2011