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The violence of history in Marco Bechis’s Argentina

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This article analyses two feature films, Garage Olimpo (1999) and Figli/Hijos/Children (2001), by Italian film-maker Marco Bechis. The films are conceived as a diptych revolving around the 1976–1983 Argentine dictatorship and its traumatic legacy in the following decades. Through a close reading of Bechis’s films, this article aims to highlight how the director has forged a form of cinema that is subtly political not only in the subjects represented but also in the (filmic) language that expresses these themes. Scholars who have examined Bechis’s works have read the two films, and in particular Garage Olimpo, within the context of Argentine cinema. In addition to this Hispano-centric viewpoint, my analysis will consider a wealth of writings and interviews that have been released in Italian. The understanding of Bechis’s point of view that one gains through this material allows for a deeper, more nuanced interpretation of his films than the exclusively Argento-centric reading.
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Keywords: 1976–1983 Argentine dictatorship; Argentina; Marco Bechis; contemporary Italian cinema; political cinema; transnational cinema

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Missouri

Publication date: 2012-11-20

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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