Argentina: Filmmakers claim government censorship over Falklands film

malvinas-museum-argentina-falklands
Screenwriter Ramón Garcés, along with producers of the short film ‘Entre dos mundos’ (Between two worlds), claimed they were victims of governmental censorship after the Malvinas Museum refused to screen their film about the social abandonment and lack of recognition suffered by Argentinian veterans who fought in the Falklands (Malvinas in Spanish) War against the United Kingdom, reported Argentinian TV news stations Crónica TV and CN23 on 7 October 2016.

In October 2016, Garcés and producer Jorge Zonzini wrote a formal petition letter to Rocío Boffo, director of the National Co-ordination of Museums in Argentina, asking to screen the film in the museum since it tackles a relevant topic to the war. Boffo rejected the petition, arguing that the museum had no plans to screen “war movies” in 2016, and didn’t offer any other alternative for the film’s screening within the network of museums.

Immediately after Boffo’s rejection, Garcés and Zonzini took to the airwaves, showing the official refusal letter and explaining the situation.  In light of the refusal, Crónica TV nationally broadcast the short film on 7 October 2016, along with a 20-minute interview with Garcés.


Film tackles tough subject matter
The film, which is competing in 30 international film festivals, takes place 34 years after the ten-week war in 1982, and tells the story of the social and governmental abandonment that Argentinian veterans suffered after the war, leading to the suicide of over 500 soldiers who were diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Specialists estimate that the suicide rate for veterans of the war is 14 times higher than that of the average Argentinian citizen.

Garcés, himself a veteran of the war, fought for two years after Argentina surrendered to the United Kingdom to recover his identity after the government declared him dead. The fictional movie is based both on his own experience and the testimonies of others.

The Malvinas Combatants Association for Human Rights (Asociación Combatientes de Malvinas por los Derechos Humanos) joined the filmmakers’ complaints, and in a statement singled out not only Boffo, but also Culture Minister Pablo Avelluto, as responsible for the censorship of the film and called for the government to screen the film. The Argentinian government has yet to do so.


War over archipelago still controversial
In Argentina there is an atmosphere of social discontent after President Mauricio Macri, who in an attempt to negotiate an economical agreement with Great Britain, made controversial statements questioning the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands during his speech in the United Nations in New York in September 2016.

Further, Great Britain carried out military exercises in the archipelago from 19-28 October 2016, re-opening old wounds for many Argentinians.

Some Argentinian intellectuals have stated that there’s an official position to silence all critical voices on the subject. During a private exhibition of the film in the National University of San Martín, historian and intellectual Felipe Pigna said the current government is trying to “take out the Argentinian identity of the Malvinas”, and that it seems that the government has a policy of silence about this subject, reported Big Bang News on 7 October 2016.


Photo: Malvinas Museum/Argentinian Ministry of Culture website


Sources

» Malvinas Combatants Association for Human Rights – 31 October 2016:
In the middle of depression, another ex-soldier who participated in the Malvinas war committed suicide

» Crónica TV – 21 October 2016:
Interview: Screenwriter Ramón Garcés claims governmental censorship of his film

» CN23 TV – 19 October 2016:
Interview: Malvinas Museum refuses to screen Ramón Garcés’ film “Entre dos mundos”

» Big Bang News – 11 October 2016:
War heroes against Pablo Avelluto after the censorship of short film about Malvinas

» Malvinas Combatants Association for Human Rights – 8 October 2016:
Government censored a film about Malvinas

» Nova Argentina– 7 October 2016:
Government is generating pressure in order to stop the screening of film about Malvinas

» La Opinion – 7 October 2016:
Despite censorship, film will be broadcasted today

» Big Bang News – 7 October 2016:
Argentinian government accused of censoring short film about war heroes of the Malvinas war  

» El Destape – 6 October 2016:
Screenwriter claims governmental censorship on Coco Sily´s film about Malvinas

» C5N TV – 24 September 2016:
Interview: Ramón Garcés talks about the film “Entre dos mundos”

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