The Secret in Their Eyes

History usually forces itself into the present in Juan Jose Campanella’s film “The Secret in Their Eyes”. Set in 2009, the film is an attempted memorization of the violent 1970s Argentina, an era in which the country was fast sinking into military rulership. The director offers flashbacks into Argentina’s dark days, days when violence murder, rape and false general injustices ruled.

Through memory, the director presents a period in which it was impossible to be an innocent person in this country as the innocent were falsely accused, tortured and even murdered for crimes they never committed, all these for the whims of those in power. Even though the movie is set in 1970s it is barely about events that happened then. However, through memory Campanella is able to portray an almost exact image of what happened in 1970s Argentina.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Memory is a tool through which Campanella attempts to reveal the dark days in Argentina’s political past. The movie is set in the 1970s Argentina a period in which the country was fast sliding into military rule, despite there having been a democratically elected president in Mr. Peron[1].

Through memory, the film becomes a political narrative of the terrible violence, murder rape and other forms of injustices associated with military rule. “The Secret in Their Eyes” is particularly important as it is among the fewest forms of art, including existing literature that peeks into the Argentina’s dark past.

Within this movie the horrors and mysteries of the military rule are captured effectively in the unsolved murder of “the woman.” Campanella uses the murder of the woman in a symbolic way. First, the investigation of the murder goes from one obstacle to another, mostly through a jaundiced judicial system, that is akin to military justice, where crime is committed and covered to protect those in power.

Through Benjamin the investigator, Campanella employs the use of memory as the woman, who Benjamin encountered years back, is now part of his (Benjamin’s) imagination[2]. Through memory, the audience is able to peek into Benjamin’s past fantasies and the Argentina’s dark past. As such this film becomes a point of clarification about Argentina’s infamous past[3].

There are other events in the film that offers a glimpse into some of the characters past. One of the themes of this film is conceit, a sense of the vanity of personal pleasures and justifications especially seen in Benjamin’s intentions. Benjamin has a romantic relationship with Irene, a conceitous woman. However, this relationship is founded on many obscurities and soon dissipates and fades fast into the back of his memory.

This affair takes the audience into Benjamin memory and into his past to a time when he encountered the dead woman in her home, her naked body decoratively arranged. This lead Benjamin to fall in love with her image, an image he is not able to remove from his memory. As such Campanella uses Benjamin’s memory to take the audience back into 1970s Argentina’s. Memory this exhumes some basic truths about the past[4]

The ending of the story is an attempt to make the film have a happy ending and offer literary relief. This is captured by the discovery that Mr Colotto, the husband of the murdered women had actually captured the woman murderer and kept him in his house for 25 years.

This discovery depicts two things about Argentina’s in famous 1970s. One that military rule is founded on instant justice. Mr Colotto’s kidnapping of the murderer is seen as sense of instant justice. Secondly, it also mirrors the lack of justice during this period of Argentina’s past[5]

The fact that the Argentina’s government cold not investigates the murder effectively portrays an unjust military rule. But it is the act of keeping the murderer captive by Mr Colotto that Campanella’s use of memory comes to the fore. By keeping the murderer captive for such along time, Mr. Colotto is imprisoned in his past. This portrays Mr Colotto as unable to get over his wife’s murder and as such his wife, and her murder, still lives in his memory.

To protect his prisoner, Mr Colotto has to literary camp in his house, not able to leave for long periods. This is also a depiction that he has been unable to get out of his past. Furthermore, Mr Colotto actions are not a portrayal of his sadistic tendencies but how the Argentine government failed to provide justice. Through Mr Colotto’s memory, Argentina’s dark past is revealed. Thus memory becomes a tool, through which the past is made relevant[6]

The film uses instances of flashback to reveal what happened in Argentina in the 1970s. As such most of what “The Secret in Their Eyes” depicts about that period in Argentina’s history is borrowed from memory. In this film, the influence of memory is captured through certain important events, characters as well as their imagination. Because these historical events are narrated from memory, they indicate passage of time and as such underline the social political transition that this country has undergone.

Bibliography

Cixous, Helene. Rootprints: Memory and Life Writing. New York: Routledge, 1997.

King, John. Magical reels: a history of cinema in Latin America. London: Verso, 2000.

Losada, Matt; “The Secret in Their Eyes: Historical Memory, Production Models, and the Foreign Film Oscar”, Cineaste, XXXVI, (1) 2010.

King, John. Magical reels: a history of cinema in Latin America. (London: Verso, 2000) 39
Matt Losada.“The Secret in Their Eyes: Historical Memory, Production Models, and the Foreign Film Oscar,” Cineaste, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, 2010
King, John. Magical reels: a history of cinema in Latin America. (London: Verso, 2000) 39
Helene Cixous, Rootprints: Memory and Life Writing. (New York: Routledge. 1997) 120
King, John. Magical reels: a history of cinema in Latin America. (London: Verso, 2000) 39
Helene Cixous, Rootprints: Memory and Life Writing. (New York: Routledge. 1997) 124

x

Hi!
I'm Barry!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out