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Julio De Grazia
A small revolution breaks out in a small Argentine town, as one group of Peronists calls they newly elected peronist a communist. The newly elected official enlists the aid of allies ranging from the town drunk to young peronists to help hold his post. What follows is a slapstick war with a serious message. Written by
Jeremy Hubble <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Based on a satire by novelist Osvaldo Soriano, this bitter work is also set in the author's abstract rural Argentine village of Colonial Vela in 1974, the year of Juan Perón's death, and is intended as an allegory relating to events that led to a military takeover of the government. It features Federico Luppi whose stated liberal political ideals assured that he would have a lengthy period of cinematic unemployment. Serving as microcosm in a kettle for national turmoil, perceptions of Perón held by two disparate political factions in Colonial Vela are at cross-purposes with right-wing Perónists attempting to oust a municipal clerk whom, although apolitical, is accused of being a Marxist, with a result that his superior, the town administrator (Luppi), comes to the clerk's physical defence against massed forces including the mayor, chief of police and union organizers, along with a collection of hardcore rightists. Farcical humour is employed by director Héctor Olivera, but always in company with cruel violence, disconcerting to a viewer who is not only alert to what may occur next, but also incapable of divining what that may be, thanks to excellent acting by Luppi, Rodolfo Ranni as police chief, Héctor Bidonde as head of the collective right-wingers, and indeed the entire cast is spot on the corrosive intentions of Olivera. This production was shot in the province of Buenos Aires while the ruling generals were yet in power, and was released in the midst of the election period in 1983 when leftist radicals retired the Perónists, an event that this work helped bring about, in large part due to a graphic depiction of right-wing death squads, murdered hostages and torture, being most certainly a film of seminal importance to those having knowledge of the Perónist period; an English language subtitled version is available with translation from the Castilian original being adequate, despite the clumsily created title. In all respects, this is a tightly made effort, not for fans of Evita, either the person or the musical feature.
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