Growing up, Antonia Cereijido knew that her father’s family was exiled from Argentina in the 1970’s but she didn’t really grasp what it meant until she came across the film La Historia Oficial at her local library in 2004. The movie takes place during the last military dictatorship that ruled Argentina. Upon learning of the human rights atrocities that were committed by the government, Cereijido found herself feeling deeply sad, but also angry that her family never told her that history.
Nearly 20 years later, she would experience a similar powerful yet alienating feeling watching Argentina, 1985 — a film about the trial of the leader of the dictatorship, General Jorge Rafael Videla, and other military officers. The trial took place only a couple of years after democracy was restored in the country. The film centers on the two prosecutors that worked on the trial: Julio Strassera and Luis Moreno Ocampo. Strassera, the head prosecutor, passed away in 2015. Luis Moreno Ocampo, who would go on to become the first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in The Hague, is currently based in Los Angeles, California.
Cereijido interviewed the former prosecutor at his home in Malibu. They discuss the relevance of the film today given that democracy is under attack in many parts of the world and the role of movies in helping to process painful and unspoken histories, which in the case of Moreno Ocampo and Cereijido are deeply personal.
Featured collage by Antonia Cereijido.
2 thoughts on “‘Argentina, 1985’: History And Memory”
Deep gratitude for this story. I was 6 when I left Argentina with my family in 1976. I know Antonia is younger than me, but her experience as an Argentine resonated strongly with me. I also had a moment when I was 11 or 12 years old. It was when I came across an Amnesty International report on human rights violations in Argentina that I know my parents didn’t intend for me to read. It was the moment I lost my innocence and it had content that I’ve never been able to repeat out loud. And, oh my goodness, I absolutely experienced Nov 2016 and Jan 6 through the lens of Argentine history and that AI report. I’m going to go back and listen to the fabulous interview with Luis Moreno Ocampo again. My work over the past 20 years has been in personal narrative (www.storycenter.org). His analysis hit home in a number of ways.
I am Argentinian/ American. I watched both movies being discussed in the segment. La Historia Oficial (lloré) and Argentina 1985 ( me recordó a mi hermano viviendo en esos momentos) .
Me gustaría que ese segmento estuviera en español para poderlo compartir con mi familia. Esa entrevista es importante no sólo para los argentinos sino para los latinos. Para aquellos que no tienen Prime vídeo para mirarla. Además muchos no siguen películas ni Oscares.
Lo que quizás quiera decir que por medio de esa entrevista en español ( o castellano) se democratiza su podcast. Y abre puertas a dolorida historia. Que se repite y repite en muchos de nuestros países.