9 January 2016 | t-dooley-69-386916
Remarkable telling of an Argentinean's view of the Falkland's War
In 1982 General Galtieri invaded The Falkland's islands – this was widely seen as a way of uniting the country in a common cause and deflect attention away from his dictators rule, mismanagement and the 'disappearances' that were happening domestically. Esteban Leguizamón – whose book this film is based on ('Iluminados Por El Fuego') was one of those sent to fight on the windswept islands in the South Atlantic.
The story begins some time after the end of that unnecessary war when Esteban gets word that one of his erstwhile army buddies has attempted suicide – this is Alberto Vargas and he goes to see him at the hospital where the sight of his friend makes him remember his fifty days of hell in a war he never wanted to fight. This is told in flashback and as we go through his war we also go through his friends fight to cling to a life he wanted to shuck off.
The battle scenes are done really well and you get a very real sense of how bad it was for these mostly conscripts who had to fight the British Taskforce. The Malvinas – as the Argentineans call them- are occupied by British descendants and their right to self determination has never been acknowledged by Argentina and so there is a bit of politicking here too – that some will not agree with. There are scenes that will move you and some that are gruesome and the whole film is made in a way that just reaches out to the viewer. Director Tristán Bauer has only made one film since this and so we are well overdue for another great piece of cinema – like this one – completely recommended.