A makeshift manifesto on worker resistance and grassroots organization produced collectively by men and women struggling to survive in economically devastated Argentina, “Matanza” (named for a particularly unified working-class region near Buenos Aires) captures well the day-to-day realities of social activism. Though docu has potential universal impact, the specificity of events will limit docu’s exposure Stateside to educational and labor venues.
Pic opens on black-and-white images of starving street kids eating roast cat and closes with official statistics outlining the country’s seemingly insurmountable fiscal debacle: 41% of the population living in poverty and a national debt requiring a payback of $1.25 million per hour in interest alone. In between, footage ranging from David and Goliath-type confrontations of slingshot-wielding demonstrators versus armed cops to scenes of middle-aged men and their gradually radicalized wives organizing soup kitchens and traffic blockades. The uniquely Argentine mixed legacy of Peronism and military rule gives docu a peculiar slant as people not historically versed in class warfare slowly overcome fear, cynicism and distrust of their neighbors.