Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Camila (Maria Luisa Bemberg, 1984)

Camila is a film that is much more important as a historical artifact than as a good film in and of itself. The story of Camila O'Gorman and Father Ladislao Gutierrez, who ran away after falling in love in 1840s Argentina, and who were eventually arrested and executed without a trial, Camila was released in 1984, after Argentina returned to democracy and their free speech laws had been reinstated. As a political piece of work, it's a moving reminder of that country's past and how far they had come -- a commenter on Netflix remarked that it's pretty obvious that, although it was nominated in 1985 for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, it was made for Argentinian consumption. And that's true -- I didn't understand many of the exact references made to Argentinian history, but I understood the gist of the film. What happened to these two people was tragic, especially since Camila was pregnant at the time of her death (stated in the film, although wikipedia tells me she was 8 months (!!) gone at her death).

What's not shown in the film, but I found out afterwards, is that the execution of Camila and Ladislao was a catalyst to bring down the reign of the dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas, who is debated about so passionately in the film. That's a fitting, touching end to the film, that argues that love and humanity should come first. I think Bemberg should have put a post-script to her film, but I can understand why she didn't. A good film about a tragic historical event.


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