El Cine Quema: Program 2

Shorts program, running time 112 min.

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It Happened in Hualfin / Ocurrido en Hualfin
Raymundo Gleyzer & Jorge Prelorán, 1965, 16mm-to-digital, 50 min., Spanish w/ English subtitles

It Happened in Hualfin adopts a tripartite approach to diagnose the poverty suffered by the Figueroa family in Argentina’s northwestern Catamarca province. The Figueroas describe harsh working conditions and express their hopes of breaking the poverty cycle, while their misery is testament to the contortion of big-government populism

Raymundo Gleyzer, 1971, 16mm-to-digital, 12 min., Spanish w/ English subtitles

By the early 1970s, paramilitary terrorism resulted in the emboldening of different antifascist groups, including the Peronist Montoneros, the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), and the People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP). Violence between militants and popular parties inevitably increased. Swift documents the kidnapping of Stanley Sylvester, both an English diplomat and manager of a meat processing factory, which resulted in a better deal for employees. (including 25 million pesos spent on food and supplies in neighborhoods determined by the PRT-ERP). Upon his release Sylvester said he had spent his captivity playing chess and exchanging ideas with “very intelligent young people.”

The A.A.A. are the Armed Forces / Las A.A.A. son las Tres Armas
Jorge Denti & Cine de la Base (in exile), 1979, 16mm-to-digital, 50 min., Spanish w/ English subtitles

The A.A.A. are the Armed Forces is the Cine de la Base’s response to Gleyzer’s disappearance, and the culmination of its efforts to alert international audiences to the chokehold of fascism within Argentina. Jorge Denti and other exiled compañeros structured the film around militant activist and writer Rodolfo Walsh’s “Open Letter From a Writer to the Military Junta,” published after the 1976 murder of his daughter Vicki at the hands of the Triple A (and which would cost Walsh himself his life shortly thereafter). Utterly sui generis, the film combines noirish reenactment scenes with an essayistic documentary survey of Argentina’s slow decline into fascism, a secret history told from the perspective of the displaced militant Left.

Total running time: 112 min.