Funny Dirty Little War (1983)



Director:  Hector Olivera

Starring:   Federico Luppi (Ignacio Fuentes), Hctor Bidonde (Suprino), Vctor Laplace (Reinaldo), Elsa Marta Achille, Juan Carlos Alegre, Fernando lvarez, Paulino Andrada, Giancarlo Arena, Alicia Baistrocchi, Roberto Baldi, Maria Balmayor, Federico Luppi (Ignacio Fuentes), Hctor Bidonde (Suprino), Vctor Laplace as Reinaldo, Rodolfo Ranni (Llanos), Miguel ngel Sol (Juan), Julio De Grazia (Garcia), Ulises Dumont (Cervino), Lautaro Mura (Mayor Guglielmini).

Peronists vs. "Communists" in an Argentine village



Good movie.  This movie reminds me a little of Animal Farm, which used political activities among farm animals to illustrate how political extremism leads to dictatorship of some over all the others.  For after all, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. 

This is a parody, a comedy, a black comedy and a tragedy.  

It is the year 1974 and Peron has returned to his second reign over Argentina.  "And the bewildered nation will soon  become a battlefield."  In the small village of Colonia Vela in the Pampas, Argentina there are only Peronistas, followers of Peron.  But one faction of the town decides that they want to have greater say in town affairs and so they decide to accuse the other faction of Peronistas of being Bolsheviks/Communists.

Senor Suprino is the Peronist Secretary General and it is his idea to go after the other faction.  He wants to get rid of politician Fuentes, but since the man is too popular in town, they start by accusing Mateo, an office clerk in the town hall, of being a Marxist.  When Fuentes strenuously protests against the injustice, Suprino and his supporters accuse Fuentes of being a Communist and deny him access to town hall. 

Fuentes gets a few stragglers together and, with weapons, takes and holds the town hall.  This brings a violent response from Suprino, his supporters and the police chief and his officers.    So now the two groups of Peronistas are trying to kill each other. 

And events start to spiral out of control, as the movie switches into black comedy mode.  It's funny, but it's sad, as more and more towns people become involved on side side or the other. 

And as things get more and more out of control, the Surpino group of Peronistas start resorting to the classic methods of Fascism:  arrests without charges, torture, assassination and much more.  And when the press turns out, they are denied access to critical areas because of "security reasons."

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


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