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Film / Puerta De Hierro

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"Volver, con la frente marchita, las nieves del tiempo platearon mi sien. Sentir, que es un soplo la vida, que veinte años no es nada, que febril la mirada errante en las sombras te busca y te nombra. Vivir, con el alma aferrada a un dulce recuerdo, que lloro otra vez."

Puerta de Hierro (in Spanish, "Iron gate") is a 2013 Argentine film, Very Loosely Based on a True Story. It is about the long exile of former Argentine president Juan Domingo Perón. He was victim of a military coup in 1955 and left the country, he moved to other South American countries and finally to Spain, where he stayed for many years, until he was finally able to return in 1973. The actor playing Perón is Víctor Laplace.

The movie begins when Perón is about to return. By the narration of his memoirs he explains his long exile. He begins with the bombings in Plaza de Mayo and the military coup, and how he left the country after it. He met Isabel Martínez in Panamá, and later moved to Spain, always keeping a close eye on the events in Argentina. In Spain he also met Sofía (this one is a fictional character), he became friend of her without revealing at first that he was Perón, and shared literary interests and political ideas. He had meetings with several people from Argentina, such as union leaders, politicians, military, guerrillas, intellectuals, and Héctor Cámpora. He tried to return to Argentina through Brazil, but he was not allowed to leave the plane and forced to return to Spain. The second attempt, in 1973, was succesful.

Puerta de Hierro contains examples of:

  • Black Magic: López Rega claimed to be able to use black magic, and tried to use it to heal Juan Perón, or to pass the spirit of Evita to Isabel. But ridiculous as it sounds, that's no artistic license: López Rega really believed in those things, and he really tried those ridiculous stunts.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Perón was taking his things to prepare to leave the country, he took an edition of "The Reason of my Life", Evita's autobiography. He had another book packed there, which could not be seen clearly. This other book, which would play a role later in the story, was Martín Fierro.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the begining of the film there was a woman trying to give something to Perón, kept at the door by López Rega. This woman would be an important character as the film continues.
  • Dramatic Thunder: There was one when Perón was about to open Evita's tomb, after recovering it. The thunder was so strong, that there was a blackout in the house!
  • Due to the Dead: The military had no respect for Evita's dead body, which was in poor condition after being manhandled and shoved about. This is based on a popular urban legend that a particularly perverse army colonel fell in love with it and took it wherever he went to gaze at it at night, to the horror of his colleagues.
  • Evil Mentor: López Rega for Isabel.
  • Exact Words: Sofía was upset with Perón because he lied to her: he introduced himself as a writer, and only named himself as "Juan". But he did not lie: Juan is his name, and he is a writer (being better known for being a president does not change that fact).
  • The Exile: Perón has been exiled to Spain and the movie details his life while forbidden from returning to Argentina.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Several dramatic moments take place under the rain, such as Perón departure from Argentina, or the recovery of Evita's lost body.
  • He's Back!: The main point of the film. And yet, the movie ends when he's returning, we did not get to see the actual return.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The movie takes certain artistic liberties to portray Perón in a more positive light. Some highlights among the things the movie forgets to mention were Perón's incentivation of violence against the opposing political parties after the bombing of Plaza de Mayo (which the parties had nothing to do with) and his support for political reasons of the Montoneros marxist guerilla/terrorist group.
  • How We Got Here: The story begins with Perón about to return, recording his memoirs of the exile.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Couldn't Perón wait for the rain to stop before receiving the truck with Evita's coffin? Well, I guess not.
  • Great Offscreen War: Except for the events set before Perón left the country, and a short TV view of general Lanusse, the focus never left Perón's side. Many important things took place in Argentina in those years: the massacre at José León Suárez, the coups against Frondizi and Illia, the execution of Vandor, the rise of the Montoneros and their execution of Aramburu, etc. They were mentioned, but just that: we did not see actors playing any of those events.
  • Rightful King Returns: Or "president" in this case. This is the story of Perón, who was deposed by a military coup, and after a long exile finally returns to his country and became president once again.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Perón met Isabel and took her to his room. The next morning, she's still sleepig at his bed, and he's using the typewriter.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Perón did not made a counter-attack to the bombing of Plaza de Mayo, or resist the 1955 coup because of this. Military actions means people dying, and he wanted to prevent that.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: The reaction of Isabel when Perón fired López Rega
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Sofía never suspected that this Argentine she met, who introduced himself as a writer named simply "Juan", was no other than Juan Domingo Perón.