Camila (1984) 

 

 

Director:    Maria Luisa Bemberg. 

Starring:       Sus Pecoraro (Camila O'Gorman), Imanol Arias (priest Ladislao Gutirrez), Hctor Alterio (Adolfo O'Gorman), Elena Tasisto (Joaquina O'Gorman), Carlos MuZoz (Monsignor Elortondo), Hctor Pellegrini (Commandant Soto), Juan Leyrado, Cecilio Madanes, Claudio Gallardou (Eduardo O'Gorman), Boris Rubaja (Ignacio), Alberto Busaid, Lidia Catalano, Zelmar GueZol, Jorge Hacker, Carlos Marchi.

was Argentina a fascist country from the very start? lovers severely punished

 

The story of Camila O'Gorman is a true story that occurred under the rule of General Rosas in the middle of the 1800s.  Rosas, a rich landowner, dominates a long period of Argentine history.  Hated or worshipped but always feared, he ruled Argentina with an iron fist.  His government was known as the "Holy Federation".  His followers were known as federals.  His enemies were the Unitarians, who had to choose between exile and death. 

By order of Rosas, also called the Governor, the country is practically painted in red:   garments, badges, emblems, uniforms.  Everything and everyone must wear the favorite color of the Governor whose portrait is also present in every churches.  Abusive use of power, arbitrariness and violence dominate the scene.  This hypocritical society could not tolerate Camila's defiance and freedom. 

Camila O'Gorman belonged to a rich traditional family and received the corresponding strict and stern education of those days. 

 

Pretty good movie.  It does evoke a definite emotional reaction.  A kind of Romeo and Juliet, but with a Catholic priest and a young woman from a wealthy family.  The rather fascist response of the government to the affair was overly moralistic, brutal and cruel.  It makes one wonder if Argentina was somewhat fascist from its very start.  (It helps to know a little of the history of Argentina before watching the movie.)

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


Historical Background:

1816 (July 9)  --  a Congress gathered at Tucumn and issued a formal declaration of independence from Spain.

1824-1825  --  heavy investment in the country by the city of London, England. 

1825  --  Great Britain officially recognized Argentine independence.  Argentina would exchange Spanish masters for a dependence on British capital.

1825-1829  --   fights between the centralist unitarios and federalists to determine the future of Argentina. 

1829-1852  --  federalist Juan Manuel de Rosas ruled.  He was a dictator of the Buenos Aires province.  But more than that he was a caretaker of the external relations of the whole country.  He developed his own paramilitary force known as La Mazorca ("the Corncob").  The government was known as The Holy Federation.

1853   --  General Justo Jos de Urquiza (backed by Uruguay and Brazil), led a defecting federalist group that established a nominal national unity and a constitution was promulgated. 

 

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