By Laura Lunardelli (Reporteronline.com.ar)
Translation by Claudio Pairoba
A co-production between Argentina´s Public Television and Encuentro Channel, with additional support from the Argentinean Movie Institute, the government of the province of San Juan and the National University of San Martin, the film starring Rodrigo de la Serna describes the crossing of the Andes mountain range, carried out by Gen. San Martin and his army in 1817.
The plot starts in 1880, in a forgotten boarding house where a journalist interviews one of the last men alive to cross the Andes with San Martín. He is Manuel Esteban de Corvalán who was 15 at the time of the crossing and landed a position as the General´s personal secretary due to his writing and reading skills.
His account takes us further into one of the greatest heroic deeds in world military history, the crossing of the Andes by a 5,000 men army, from Cuyo towards Chile and the intimacy of his leader, one of the greatest men born from the revolution.
Corvalán’s portrayal of San Martín and the crossing, its difficulties and events, the battle of Chacabuco and his comrade in arms, differ from the interviewing journalist notion of Fatherland, Forefather, Nation and History, giving back to the revolution its original American nature.
“There’s a very sad metaphor in the movie about how journalism can change history”, director Leando Ipiña told Reporter to account for the differences between Corvalán’s story, “the immediate past”, and the writer “who tries to narrow the revolution”.
“The important thing is that the revolution was not against Spain but against the pro-Spanish, as San Martín makes it explicit –Ipiña confided-. The revolution was against Absolutism.”
José Francisco de San Martín was such a revolutionary, republican, illustrated and military genius that he was compared to Aníbal and Napoleón. And maybe because of that his figure is bigger than life. “The first problem you find when you choose to make a movie about a historic chracter is their grandiose life. San Martin’s life could fill a trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ but as “The Lord of the Sword”, Ipiña said.
Close to 1,400 movie extras took part at diffent times of the shooting of “Revolution. The crossing of the Andes”, the movie that was filmed in the small village of Barreal, located at the foot of the Andes range, in the Valley of Calingasta, in the southeastern part of the province of San Juan. The shooting crew, under the supervision of the Director of the National Public Media System, Tristán Bauer, was made up of a hundred people.
Bauer considers that the movie (previously shown during the latest edition of the Mar del Plata International Film Festival) meets his goal: to “honor the memory of those men who gave everything for their country”, as José de San Martín did.
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