‘Argentina, 1985’, the historical epic film with which millions of viewers remembered | Oscars | Cinema | The USA Print

Argentina has not managed this Sunday to snatch the award from Europe, as it did in December at the Soccer World Cup, but Santiago Miter’s feature film, which competed in the category of best international film at the Oscars, has already moved millions of viewers. Even without the award, which fell to the German All Quiet at the Front, Argentina, 1985 He helped Argentines remember by reliving the early feat achieved against the most atrocious dictatorship in its history: putting the top military regime on trial just one year after regaining democracy.

The film once again brought this decisive trial to the forefront of the Argentine collective imagination, considered a world example but which had been partly overshadowed by subsequent impunity laws, pardons for the convicted, and Kirchnerism’s discourse on human rights. that focused on the resumption of trials against humanity from 2003. The younger generations discovered flesh and blood heroes on the screen, the prosecutors Julio César Strassera and Luis María Ocampo, and the difficulties they faced so that justice be done.

In its first week on theaters in Argentina, at the end of September, five out of ten people who went to the cinema chose the film. After the month, it already exceeded one million viewers, despite having been banned by the main distribution chains. At the end of each projection, the public applauded; Some were moved to tears. In the subsequent conversations, the older ones remembered that judicial milestone while the adolescents highlighted that they had studied the dictatorship in depth but did not know much about the Trial against the Juntas. For some, it was even unknown whether the top officials of the dictatorship were going to be sentenced or not. When the verdict was announced on the screen, the spectators relived the joy that a court ruling was considered a great popular victory.

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“It is a triumph of democracy and I think that going to see it in the room, surrounded by people, conveys a feeling that this period of democracy was expanding. People applauded in the room. It was an event that revived the catharsis that this trial meant,” Miter said in an interview with EL PAÍS.

In 1985, the young Argentine democracy and its institutions were fragile but had great support from the citizens, who were optimistic about the new political era. In this 2023, when the South American country commemorates 40 years of democracy, the panorama is very different. According to a survey by the University of San Andrés, 74% of Argentines disapprove of the actions of the judiciary, the institution with the worst image. Politicians, regardless of their ideological orientation, also fail in the polls to which a very highly regarded society responds. polarized.

“The success of the film expresses the possibility that this crack fades a bit and that Argentines can see themselves reflected in something that is good, that it was a triumph for society,” stressed Ricardo Darín, who plays the protagonist, Julio César. Strassera.

For the Government, the good reception of the film in the country shows the strength that democracy preserves in its 40th anniversary. “I believe in the democratic reservoir of this town. If this were not the case, children who did not live through the dictatorship or the democratic spring would not have been moved by the film Argentina, 1985,” responded the new Argentine chief of staff, Agustín Rossi, when asked if he fears the rise of extremist figures. .

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The competition at the Oscars has also come to the end of a week of high political voltage, in which Kirchnerism has redoubled its attacks against justice following the conviction for corruption against Cristina Kirchner, and on the eve of difficult days from the economic front. The feature film allows Argentines to escape from the present and returns them, for two hours, to the hopeful democratic spring.

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