KUDOS must go to the folks behind this year’s Glasgow Film Festival for once again making bold choices.

Wes Anderson’s stop-motion charmer Isle of Dogs, pictured right, kicked things off and bringing the festival to a close in inspiring effect was Felipe Bustos Sierra’s big-hearted and rousing documentary which shows how even the smallest of individual actions can have the farthest of reaches.

Nae Pasaran (translating as “They Shall Not Pass”) tells the story of a group of workers at the Rolls-Royce factory in Scotland’s own East Kilbride back in 1974 who, in essence, defied the brutal regime of General Pinochet, pictured right, half a world away.

In a quietly extraordinary act of international solidarity, they refused to carry out vital inspections on the engines which powered the Hawker Hunter planes used by the military junta against the people of Chile. The engines were labelled as “blacked” at the back of the factory floor for years, rendering them useless at best and outright dangerous at worst. It’s an amazing and inspiring true story of the courageous workers at the factory – namely Bob Fulton, Robert Somerville, Stuart Barrie and John Keenan. We meet and get to spend time with these endearing, down-to-earth figures throughout the film as both subjects of the director’s intimate yet unobtrusive talking heads interviews and in a kind of laid back meet-and-greet chat. “Don’t you start with the war stories!” one jibes to another as they sit down for a pub drink, indicative of the affectionately grounded quality that permeates the film.

It’s a shrewd combination on Sierra’s part that marks him out as a non-fiction director to watch for the future; his documentary has an added layer of personal profundity as he himself is the son of a Chilean exile who grew up hearing near-mythical stories of “the Scots who defied Pinochet”. His approach gives a sense of the impact these men had, unbeknownst to them, on the lives of people they had never even met, as well as illuminating the bond of friendship and principled duty that caused them to take a stand.

The interactions with the group of factory workers are juxtaposed with a complex and alarming exploration of Pinochet’s cruel regime in Chile, how the political and physical overhaul of a democratically elected government spilled over into all-too-real horrors and how survivors of the era have lived on.

The comparatively subdued, disarmingly informal Scotland segments of the film are an effective contrast and help contextualise what exactly the workers’ rebellion meant. The documentary’s key strength is in its empathy and in-built sense of gratitude towards its primary subjects, acting as a kind of cinematic, non-fiction thank you letter that’s an emotionally charged joy to experience.