South America Blog
About this blog
Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Buenos Aires, Chile, Argentina, and Patagonia. Here he shares his vast knowledge of South America and its people.
- The Papal Cumbia
- The Uruguayan Sacraments: Tango & Mate
- Taxing the Tourist: Argentina's AFIP Aims Low
- Fortress Falklands: A Book Review
- Pope Argentinus I, The Musical: Ragtime Meets Tango
- Credit Where Credit Is Undue?
- ¿Adios Hugo?
- When "No" Is A Positive
- Chile and Its "Crazies"
- The Oscars: A Post Mortem, So to Speak
- Sacrificing the Atacama? A Chilean View of Dakar
- Chilean Oscar Faceoff? "No" v. "Kon-Tiki"
- Friday Digest: Southern Cone Nuggets
- Dancing in the Mud? The Andean Aftermath
- Floods & Mud: Summer Storms Hit the Andes
Argentina Takes the Oscar
For only the second time, Argentina has taken home a “Best Foreign Film” award from the Oscars. Last night, the Academy awarded the statuette to director Juan José Campanella’s “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” (The Secret in Her Eyes), starring Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil in a noirish crime drama with political overtones that begins in the 1970s, but before the coup that overthrew civilian authority in 1976. It takes place mostly in 1999, but deals with the legacy of Argentina’s history of political violence.
Argentina’s only previous Oscar-winning film was director Luis Puenzo’s “The Official Story” (1986), a drama about the military kidnapping of detained and disappeared infants during the so-called “Proceso de Reorganización Nacional,” as Argentina’s military rulers euphemistically called their reign of terror. Many Argentines disliked that film, in which Norma Aleandro plays an upper-class woman who slowly comes to realize that the origins of her adopted child are open to question, partly because it seemed to imply that the public could be unaware of what was going on around them.
I haven’t yet had the opportunity to see Campanella’s film, which is one of the most popular in the history of Argentine cinema, but it’s definitely on my short list. I have, however, seen Darín’s co-star (pictured above), who frequently sings tango at San Telmo’s Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso. If you want an up-close look at a Oscar winner (or at least a major participant in an Oscar-winning project), the Tasso can be the place to do so (though not scheduled there any time very soon, she also sings elsewhere in Buenos Aires).