After the fall of the military dictatorship in 1983, successive democratic governments launched a series of reforms purporting to turn Argentina into the world's most liberal and prosperous... See full summary »

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Storyline

After the fall of the military dictatorship in 1983, successive democratic governments launched a series of reforms purporting to turn Argentina into the world's most liberal and prosperous economy. Less than twenty years later, the Argentinians have lost literally everything: major national companies have been sold well below value to foreign corporations; the proceeds of privatizations have been diverted into the pockets of corrupt officials; revised labour laws have taken away all rights from employees; in a country that is traditionally an important exporter of foodstuffs, malnutrition is widespread; millions of people are unemployed and sinking into poverty; and their savings have disappeared in a final banking collapse. The film highlights numerous political, financial, social and judicial aspects that mark out Argentina's road to ruin. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

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Documentary

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18 March 2004 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Social Genocide  »

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Poignant docu lacks pacing, structure and humor
3 January 2005 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Michael Moore has done an outstanding service to documentary film-making, but he's also opened the floodgates for less worthy imitations.

While poignant and probably deserving (Argentineans must be the judge of that), Solana's very long docu sadly belongs to this category.

Sadly, because there is a great story to tell - not of social genocide perhaps as the filmmaker would want it, but of deeply misguided elites in a country blessed by the gods.

The film lacks three of Moore's chief characteristics: pacing, structure, and humor.

Dramatic but repetitive newsreel (or newsreel-like) images of street riots alternate with listless steadicam views of marble halls and government corridors. Cinematography is elementary, perhaps willingly, but disappointingly from such an accomplished filmmaker.

Additional testimonials seem handicapped by the one-sidedness of the questions and by the superficial economic and historical analysis behind them.

Structurally, the chapters (which are probably meant as theses) are ineffectual - they further obscure the narrative arc and provide no additional clues. The official thievery portrayed is poignant in its effects on everyday Argentinean life across all classes but offers no explanation as to why this country repeatedly trusts or elects demagogues who are lousy soldiers (the Junta who dragged the country into the Falklands disaster, and into the public debt load) or lousy managers (Menem and De la Rua).

Seriousness of the topic should not have excluded an occasional bit of humor - surely, all this official strutting, all these implausible interview comments would have provided ample opportunities.


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