Estrategias narrativas de un cine post dictatorial: el genocidio en la producción cinematográfica argentina (1984-2007)


Feierstein, Daniel
Marrone, Irene

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Temporal Coverage





226 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)






The present thesis will analyze Argentinean film production - fiction and documentary – between 1984 and 2007, studying a way of the symbolic realization of Argentine genocide practiced by the last military dictatorship in our country. That symbolic achievement is the last phase of a genocidal social practice, this means that the practice doesn’t culminates with the physical elimination of bodies (annihilation) but it finds its realization within symbolic and ideological models representing and narrating the traumatic experience.

It is not our intention to focus on aesthetic representations but on narrative strategies, on audiovisual narrative. This result will shed light on the themes and recurring motifs that cinema has put on screen. In short, the thesis will realize how Argentinean cinema addressed, brought to the screen and realized the genocide practiced by the last military dictatorship. We should mention that the narrative strategies are analytical constructs and were not designed strictly by its filmmakers. Equally the prospect of genocide studies will allow us to examine the films from a different perspective. We enable not only to see what characterizes a practice of these features but also to ask about the effects it produces. In a few words: the characteristics of a society reconfigured by genocide. Similarly, the proposed approach aims to carry out a comparative analysis of the films we believe it is in this own comparison where we will find the answers to our questions.

It is, then, with a comparative analysis that we can reach a "whole", the film corpus is presented to us as a kind of puzzle, mosaic, where each film can be seen as a piece. Narrative strategies would be for us a particular form to assemble the entire puzzle: to reconstruct the social genocidal practice.

The thesis is divided into two parts. In the first one, we want to present the strategies, the recurring motifs that are our focus of attention. We could say that the strategies that are threaded in the first part allow us to carry out analytical comparisons of various films by different directors. Instead, in the second part we will focus strategies in the work of two particular directors.

Thus, in the first part we will find a chapter to the “Methodology”. We will see how the methodology of the genocide was attached to the film stories, some focusing on the entire torture-abduction-disappearance process; others focus on one of these three. The ways in which these issues impacted in the society will also be addressed. Another strategy will lie in the "Camp". We will look at the films that appeal to the concentration camp in their frames. We will not only discuss the logic of the concentration camp but the analytical spectrum on the subject will be expanded. A next chapter is entitled "The perpetrators: the executors and accomplices". In it, we will concentrate on the narratives that have led to screen those who "soiled the hands" -a term by Yves Ternon-; the perpetrators are those who carried its materiality, their ideologues who abducted, who tortured, those who killed in the extermination process. In the same vein accomplices figure will be used to refer to those who "not soiled his hands" but supported and contributed to the formation of the genocidal mentality.“Generations” strategy will be studied from the view of Karl Mannheim and Alfred Schutz, this will allow us to place the bidding between different "fathers" and "children" in tension. In the chapter dedicated to “The victims” we will address the strategy dedicated to think about those who suffered genocide: who they were, what were their identities. Also, we will undertake guidelines to establish a criticism of the film and its approach to the genocide.

The second part will feature chapters for two particular director: Carlos Echeverría and Alejandro Agresti. The first one has dedicated two documentaries about the issue. In Agresti’s case, his filmography has been traversed by the figure of the disappeared. Then, conducting a comparative analysis of their various films, we believe that they can provide appealing aspects for the analysis of modes of the symbolic realization of genocide.

Thus, the film is fertile ground for the analysis of the development of the past; every film puts into circulation an interpretation about past events. The cinema makes a double operation: draws on a stock of knowledge as it also creates a stock of knowledge. The film is never a window to the past that shows us the facts "as they occurred" but using different techniques each film evokes, suggests, and interprets facts. In this way, the film is placed, to social scientist, as a document to study both past and conflicts and the “structure of feeling” of a society at a particular time.

Título obtenido

Magister de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Comunicación y Cultura

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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