“Black people do not exist in Argentina.” – Former Argentine President Carlos Menem
Hat-tip to the Afro-Europe blog for the find…
Titled Revolución: El cruce de los Andes (or Revolution: The Crossing of the Andes in English), the 2010 Argentine historical epic film directed by Leandro Ipiña and starring Rodrigo de la Serna, premiered during the bicentennial of Argentina – commemorating the 200th anniversary of the May Revolution, a sequence of historical events that eventually led to the country’s first national government.
The film, told mostly via flashback, starts in 1880, and follows the life of José de San Martín, with special focus on the Crossing of the Andes, and the later Battle of Chacabuco, and, as the Afro-Europe blog notes, highlights the significant contributions black soldiers made in every independence war fought.
Roughly 2/3 of San Martin’s Army comprised of blacks/Africans, most of them slaves and freed men, and further:
As a result of the high casualty rate (and other factors) the big black population in Argentina rapidly declined and made them virtually invisible. Since whitening was also a state policy of Argentina, their historical contributions were subsequently also erased and ignored. The black presence was even officially denied up to 1996 by former former Argentine President Menem when he, during a diplomatic trip to the United States, stated “Black people do not exist in Argentina, Brazil has that problem.”
The film was produced by Canal 7 Argentina, Canal Encuentro, and the Argentine National Film Board.
I couldn’t determine whether it’s screened, or is available outside of Argentina. But maybe with this post will generate some news updates.
Watch a clip from the film below, which features the aforementioned Battle Of Chacabuco (it’s not subtitled though):