IFFT condoles death of Argentine film director Fernando Solanas

Fernando Solanas

IFFT condoles death of Argentine film director Fernando Solanas

International Film Festival of Thrissur (IFFT), organization conducts Kerala’s second biggest film festival, condoled the demise of the Argentine film director Fernando Solanas.

In the meeting organisers remembered that with the death of Solanes, the world lost another strong voice of third world cinema.

Solanes who pioneered the third cinema movement breathed his last on Friday, November 6, 2020. Fernando Solanas had visited Kerala in 2019 and received the lifetime achievement award by the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). His most-acclaimed five films were exhibited in the IFFK that year.

Fernando Solanas at IFFK

Fernando Solanas at IFFK to receive lifetime achievment award. Kerala Chalachitra Academy Chairman Kamal and MA Baby also can be seen.

His name closed associated with the political and cultural movement in Argentina. Solanas was at the forefront of the Grupo Cine Liberación that shook Argentine cinema in the 1970s, developing its social conscience and political voice.

In 1962, he directed his first short feature Seguir andando. But ‘The Hour of the Furnaces (La hora de los hornos)’ made in 1968, made him a world-renowned filmmaker. This documentary film was on neo-colonialism and violence in Latin America and in that film he established the paradigm of revolutionary activist cinema. The film won several international awards and was screened around the world. Solanas won the Grand Jury Prize and the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival and the Prix de la mise en scène at the Cannes Film Festival.

Together with Octavio Getino, Solanas wrote the manifesto “Toward a Third Cinema”. The idea of a political Third Cinema, opposed to Hollywood cinema and European auteur cinema, inspired film makers in many so-called developing countries. Threatened by right-wing forces in the 1970s, one of his actors was assassinated and he himself was almost kidnapped. Solanas went into exile in Paris in 1976, only returning to Argentina with the arrival of democracy in 1983.

He continued to make political films and was an outspoken critic of Carlos Menem, the Argentine President. Three days after such a public criticism, on 21 May 1991, Solanas was shot six times in his legs. Despite dealing with the attack and disability, Solanas became even more involved in politics and stood to be a Senator for Buenos Aires, receiving 7% of the vote in 1992. A year later he was elected a National Deputy for the Frente Grande list, although he left the party after a year.

His other important films were Tangos: el exilio de Gardel (1985), Sur (1988), El viaje (1992), La nube (1998) and Memoria del saqueo (2004), among many others. As a staunch politician, he was National Senator representing the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires for six years, from 2013 to 2019.