SP0868 World Culture Lit Film
Prof. Hana Muzika Kahn
March 13th, 2013
How Alicia and Ana from “The Official Story” Lived and Changed During the “Dirty War” “The military's Official Story was a persecutory vision that energized a massive assault on multiple sectors of society, whose objective was to silence critical consciousness and paralyze civic engagement. Military discourse reflected the convergence of ideological and psychological splitting: with the delusional indignation characteristic called “violent innocence”, it depicted the world in gross terms of good and evil – Western Civilization versus “subversion” – and projected its own disavowed aggression onto a hated object – the so-called subversive – which then had to be constantly destroyed for fear of being destroyed by it.” (Hollander 124-25). In Luis Puenzo’s 1985 powerful drama “The Official Story”, which was filmed shortly after Argentina’s “Dirty War”, the government’s “Official Story” versus that of societies is cleverly explored through the life of high school professor Alicia Ibáñez. In the next few paragraphs, I will describe the behavior and reactions to Argentina’s “Dirty War” in “The Official Story”, through two of the films main characters from different ends of the spectrum: Alicia Ibáñez’s and her best friend Ana.
The film opens with students and school faculty reciting the Argentinian National Anthem, which ironically enthrones freedom, “broken chains”, and “noble equality”, all of which don’t coexist under Argentina’s repressive military-rule. The convergence of institutions and society that are complicit with military dictatorship are a major theme in the film. Subsequently, the next scene details Alicia introducing herself to her new history class by stating: “No peoples can survive without memory. History is the memory of the peoples.” Alicia is uptight, strict, and stalwartly resists interrogating the nature of historical truth as well as the...
Bibliography: Taylor, Diana. Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina 's "dirty War" Durham: Duke UP, 1997. 147. Print.
Hollander, Nancy Caro. Uprooted Minds: Surviving the Politics of Terror in the Americas : Psychoanalysis, History, Memoir. New York: Routledge, 2010. 124-25. Print.
Green, Duncan. Faces of Latin America. New York: Monthly Review, 2006. 60. Print.
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