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The Hour of the Furnaces (1968)
"La hora de los hornos: Notas y testimonios sobre el neocolonialismo, la violencia y la liberación" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 470 users  
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María de la Paz ...
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Fernando E. Solanas ...
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Edgardo Suárez ...
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1 November 1973 (Argentina)  »

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The Hour of the Furnaces  »

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History witnesses

Argentinean Fernando Ezequiel Solanas and Spaniard Octavio Getino were two outstanding activists of Latin American cinema. They took different routes (Getino was the philosopher, writing about cinema, economy and politics), but in the 1960s they collaborated on one of the most important manifestos of the "New Latin American cinema", known as "Towards a Third Cinema", and together they made "The Hour of the Furnaces: Notes and Testimonies on Neocolonialism, Violence and Liberation", one of the major works of Latin American documentalism, which they defined as a "cine-act" to inform, beyond the entertainment factor. If one of the three parts that comprise this work has to be seen, "Neocolonialismo y violencia" (running 90 minutes) is the key part and the mandatory section for the specialist to see. This first part is a document with particular annotations, tinted with manichean, dogmatic or contradictory position, inherent to its Peronist proclivity; a document created in a very specific time, when several Latin American countries were living moments of intense political, cultural and social unrest, in their struggles against imperialism. However, it is as striking today as it was in 1968, because of its stylistic devices, recurring to Brecht's alienation effect and the audience's interaction (in some points of parts two and three, intertitles ask to stop the projector and start the debate), but above everything else, because of its lucid approach to neocolonialism in Latin America through a methodical analysis of a particular national history, including the complicity of local oligarchies. This is also the documentary that ends with a long shot of the lifeless face of Ernesto "Che" Guevara filling the screen.


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