Citation Olivera GE (2008) Dependency Theory and the Aesthetics of Contrast in Fernando Solanas’s La hora de los hornos and Memoria del saqueo. Hispanic Research Journal: Iberian and Latin American Studies, 9 (3), pp. 247-260. https://doi.org/10.1179/174582008X305638
Abstract This paper is a comparative analysis of two key documentaries by Fernando Solanas: La hora de los hornos / The Hour of the Furnaces (1966–68) and Memoria del saqueo / Social Genocide (2003). It argues that Solanas produces documentaries when the representative link that ties the political representatives to the represented (the people) is suspended or breaks down, as experienced during the times of the proscription of Peronism (1955–73) and in the more recent crisis of representation in Argentine institutional politics (1989–2001). The comparison follows two axes: political arguments and the aesthetics of contrast. Regarding the first criterion, the paper highlights the current persistence, in Solanas’s political argumentation, of externalist-mechanistic versions of dependency theory of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In relation to the aesthetics of contrast, it analyses the stark oppositions in Solanas’s documentaries as a visual rhetoric which can be read as an essentialist false-bottom economy that opposes ‘appearance’ to ‘reality’. The article concludes that these political and aesthetic polarizations are essentializing and literalizing discursive strategies that denounce the excesses of political representation from an unmediated and transparent site of full popular presence. Within such strategies, there is no room for the constitutive opacity intrinsic to representation and articulatory politics.
Keywords Latin American documentary filmmaking; dependency theory; political argumentation in film; visual rhetoric; populist discourse; political representation; Third Cinema; Argentine Cinema; Documentary films Argentina; Documentary films Latin America; Motion pictures producers and directors Argentina; Motion pictures producers and directors Latin America; Solanas, Fernando E. Criticism and interpretation
Journal Hispanic Research Journal: Iberian and Latin American Studies: Volume 9, Issue 3