Film: La Revolucion Es Un Sueno Eterno
La Revolución es un sueño eterno
(in Spanish, "The revolution is an eternal dream") is a 2012 Argentine film. It is a historical film about Juan José Castelli, a political leader of the Argentine War of Independence.
The movie begins in the last days of Castelli, when he had tongue cancer and faced a trial for the military defeats of his army. In dreams, fashbacks and descriptions during the trial, the movie features other events in his life: the British invasions of the Río de la Plata, his interview with William Carr Beresford, his defiance of viceroy Cisneros, the Open Cabildo of May 22, his appointment to the First Junta, the defeat of the counter revolution of Santiago de Liniers and his execution, the execution of Paula Sanz, Nieto and Córdoba, and his final defeat in Huaqui.
La Revolución Es Un Sueño Eterno contains examples of:
- Art Imitates Art: The scene of the Open Cabildo is made resembling the "Cabildo abierto del 22 de mayo de 1810" portrait about said event.
- Artistic License: Manuel Belgrano visited Castelli during the time he was prisoner and under trial, but he was not at his side when he died, he had already left to further military campaigns (remember that, beyond all the drama, there was still a war going on). Still, his presence allowed a climax for Castelli's death that wouldn't be the same if he died alone or along a secondary and unimportant character.
- Best Served Cold: Bernardo Monteagudo was present in the 1809 revolution of Chuquisaca (modern Bolivia). Most of his partners were executed by the Spanish when they reconquered the city, but he was just jailed, and got Survivor Guilt. He joined the army of Castelli, and had his vengueance against the monsters (at least, that's how he saw them) that killed his friends, by taking part in their execution and mocking any Due to the Dead standards.
- Common Tongue: Averted. Most characters speak Spanish, but when the plot requires the intervention of natives (who speak aymara) or a British general (who speaks English), we have a character doing the translation work. Castelli says something in Spanish, Agrelo translates to English, Beresford replies in English, Agrelo translates to Spanish. Exactly as it would be done in real life during the time period.
- Doomed by Canon: Given the dramatic death of Juan José Castelli, a work about him can not elude it. Santiago de Liniers, Paula Sanz, Nieto and Córdoba are also victims of it.
- Fight Scene Failure: It seems that an actual army was too expensive for the film, so there is none actually shown, only scenes with specific characters. But how can they represent the fierce battle against the British when they tried to reconquer Buenos Aires in 1807, without an army? Simple: they showed weapons firing at... nothing. At a British army that is supposed to be there, off-stage, beyond camera sigth.
- How We Got Here: The movie begins during the trial of Castelli, nearing his death. Everything else took place in the past.
- National Anthem: Played in the ending credits
- Saved by Canon: When Castelli was about to die, Manuel Belgrano pointed his own health problems, and that he was dying too. Which is correct, Belgrano's health was indeed frail. But, although a common death would have made a much more dramatic ending, the fact is that Manuel Belgrano died in 1820, 8 years after Castelli.
- Shown Their Work: It is clear that the writers knew well about the historical period of the movie. But sometimes too much for their own good: many scenes are played directly, without building context, which may be hard to follow for those who ignore the details.
- The Remnant: Castelli in his last times (and Belgrano). Although the Spanish have not reconquered government, most heads of the May Revolution were displaced by internal factions, who exiled and/or trialed them.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Ask Mariano Moreno: all the heads of the old government must be executed. Pity the revolution without enough courage to execute the symbol of the old regime.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Being the birth of Argentina, all those taking part in the May Revolution are automatically heroes under any Argentine perspective. In Argentina there are liberal historians, conservative historians, right-wing and far right historians, left-wing and far left historians; and they hold severe disputes about basically everything (specially Perón and Rosas). Everything... save for the Revolution. Nobody ever dares to mess with it. Each may say that it rules for polar opposite reasons, but nobody can actually condemn it.
- Translation With An Agenda: There is a discussion between Manuel Belgrano, a lawyer from Buenos Aires, and Beresford, a British general held prisoner during the British invasion of Buenos Aires (1806). Belgrano speaks in Spanish and Beresford in English, so there's a third character doing the translation work. Beresford says, and the translator translates properly, that Buenos Aires is just a rogue colony of the British empire (long story). Belgrano replies in Spanish "Dígale a este gringo de *** que se vaya a la re*** madre que lo remil ***" (with explicit insults, censored here just for good taste). The translator says "He says 'go to hell'".
- Of course, the insults are just an Artistic License, there is no evidence that the real Belgrano replied to Beresford in such terms (or if he did, nobody would have wrote it down with that level of detail). In particular, some of the insulting words he used did not exist in 1810, and were created by Tango artists at the early XX century.