Last semester, I made a decision to sacrifice my monetarily valuable time at the Trinitonian to study in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Â A lot of people spend their time â€œbroadening their horizonsâ€; however, I decided that my time would be spent better if I sat around and watched TV. Therefore, I am now an authority on Argentine books, musicians, and movies. Here are a few of my favorites:
Bands and Musicians
1. Luis Alberto Spinetta: Commonly called Â one of the fathers of Argentine rock, Spinetta is one of the most sanctified figures in musical history. Â He is not only responsible for writing beautiful songs about his own life, but also for writing politically charged music, most notably about the tyrannical Argentine dictatorships.
Songs like â€œMaribel se durmioâ€ reference a time when thousands of Argentines were systematically killed by the government. Spinettaâ€™s protest songs formed unity during one of the most horrific times in Argentine history.
Â 2. Soda Stereo: The English-speaking equivalent of this band would have to be a combination of U2 and The Beatles. This rock-and-roll â€˜80s band founded by Gustavo Cerati, Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti is well-known for making music that appealed to all of South America, therefore creating a type of unifying media. My personal favorite songs of theirs include â€œCuando pase el temblorâ€ and â€œLuna roja.â€
1. â€œPoesia completaâ€: Jorge Luis Borges is perhaps the most influential writer and poet in Argentina. Â His writings are responsible for helping form both the Argentine and porteÃ±o (from Buenos Aires) identity because many of his works are about the beauty of the city and the country. This book of poems includes many of my personal favorites including â€œLa lluviaâ€ and â€œLa Recoleta.â€
For anybody interested in learning more about the cultural identity of Argentina or Buenos Aires, Borges is an essential read.
2. â€œSanta Evitaâ€: Eva Peron was the second wife of Argentine president Juan Peron during his 1946-1955 term. Since Avaâ€™s untimely death in 1952 she has been both sanctified for her works of charity and vilified because of her and her husbandâ€™s politics. In this book, Tomas MartÃnez examines the opposing viewpoints by telling the story of Evaâ€™s body after her death, which was stolen, desecrated and moved around the world.
1.â€œNueve reinasâ€: This classic Argentine movie stars the most famous Argentine actor Ricardo DarÃn as a con artist who, along with his protegee played by GastÃ³n Pauls, attempt to scam a rich Spaniard by selling him counterfeit versions of rare, expensive stamps called the â€œNine Queens.â€ Â It is a well-made, witty, and intelligent film that can be enjoyed by any audience (as long as you have subtitles).
2. â€œLa historia oficialâ€: During the 1970s and 1980s, tens of thousands of Argentines were systematically killed by the military dictatorship. Â These people are called los desaparecidos or â€œthe disappeared.â€ Â If these people had children, they were given to families that supported the dictatorship.
â€œLa historia oficialâ€ is about a wealthy woman living in Buenos Aires who begins to suspect that her daughter may be one of the lost children. This movie is an excellent depiction and commentary on very controversial and typically censored time in Argentine history.