Review: ‘Time and Blood’

After last year's spate of documentaries about Argentina's military dictatorship and the tragedy of the <I>desaparecidos</I>, "Time and Blood" is the only notable recent work in this continuing line of inquiry. Topic may be too specialized to excite much interest outside the country, suggesting a limited life beyond festival dates.

After last year’s spate of documentaries about Argentina’s military dictatorship and the tragedy of the desaparecidos, “Time and Blood” is the only notable recent work in this continuing line of inquiry. Its subject is the young militants who belonged to the Montoneros, a group supporting armed political struggle in the 1970s. Film editor Alejandra Almiron directs this image-rich docu with an insider’s knowledge and sympathy, interviewing numerous survivors and their children. However, topic may be too specialized to excite much interest outside the country, suggesting a limited life beyond festival dates.

Going back to Maron, a western suburb of Buenos Aires where many Montoneros lived, Almiron captures not just anguished memories of that time of armed rebellion, secret meetings, kidnappings, torture and murder but a wealth of anecdotes. Survivors reveal that while they knew their activities could get them killed, they still had children because they expected to win. Home movies and photos showing happy young couples with their kids are digitally re-elaborated in a rapid-fire montage of pop images, TV excerpts and newsreels — mimicking the confused memory people have of those years. Editing itself is a mammoth achievement.

Time and Blood

Argentina

Production

A Cine Ojo production. Produced by Paola Pernicone. Directed, written, edited by Alejandra Almiron.

Crew

Camera (color, Betacam-to-35mm), Almiron; music, Diego Hobert. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (competing), April 23, 2004. Running time: 69 MIN.
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