Event-based film chronicles 25-year odyssey of Evita’s corpse
MADRID – France’s Pyramide Films, one of Europe’s foremost arthouse companies, has confirmed French distribution and international sales rights to Gael Garcia Bernal’s starrer “Eva Doesn’t Sleep” (“Eva No Duerme), a prominent contender for a major fest berth in 2015.
A Sopadin Prize winner in 2012 for its screenplay and co-starring Denis Lavant (“Holy Motors”), “Eva” took top honors at France’s Toulouse CineLatino Festival’s Films in Progress pix-in-post showcase on March 27.
Based on director Pablo Aguero’s four years of research, “Eva” is an extraordinary but true fact-based reimagining of the 25-year odyssey of Eva Peron’s embalmed corpse beginning in 1952, when Eva Peron addresses the thronging masses, claiming she will return “alive or dead.” She then died at the age of 33. Her corpse was embalmed, in what the embalmer aimed to be his “sleeping woman” masterpiece, hidden in van, surreptitiously interred to Italy with the Vatican’s compliance, returned to Spain and finally Argentina where Colonel Emilio Massera (Garcia Bernal) finally officially buries Evita after the junta’s 1976 coup d’etat – under six meters of cement. That, Aguero has observed grimly, made Evita the first person to disappear under the dictatorship.
“Eva Doesn’t Sleep” chronicles the cadaver’s odyssey, asked why it inspired such fiery reactions. Answers, reportedly, can be given on several levels.
“Pyramide has a tradition I really care about regarding Argentine movies and, more generally speaking, South American movies,” said Pyramide head Eric Lagesse.
He added: “The subject Pablo Aguero wanted to treat was so original, and this story is so incredible – I never heard of it before — that I could not do anything else than sign this new Argentine movie for world sales and French distribution.”
Pyramide came on board at a very early stage, after having first read the script.
Said Pyramide Intl.’s sales head Lucero Garzon: “Argentina’s recent history is a passionate subject, and Evita is a major figure. People want to know more about her. What Pablo Agüero depicts in his film, the embalmed corpse of Eva Peron and the turbulent 25 years that passed before her burial, is an incredible strong subject.”
Announcing to the industry the film’s cast and post-production staff at Berlin, “We immediately got the attention from buyers around the world. It is a highly anticipated film,mand we are closing already some territories,” she added.
France’s JBA, Spain’s Tornasol Films and Buenos Aires’ Haddock Films produced “Eva Doesn’t Sleep.” Tornasol and Haddock teamed on Juan Jose Campanella’s Oscar-winning “The Secret in the Eyes.”