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Benjamín Naishtat Introduces His Film "The Movement"

In Argentina, "from 1816 (independence) to 1853 (constitution) it was all mayhem."
Benjamín Naishtat's The Movement is showing exclusively on MUBI from August 9 - September 11, 2016 as part of our series Direct from Locarno.
As I write this, a year and a half has passed since The Movement was made. It was something of a frenzy. Korean programmers of the Jeonju International Film Festival wrote an email to me as 2014 ended to ask if I could shoot a feature and complete it by April 2015. I said "yes." 
I usually establish my field of work around politics and history.  I had for some time been wondering about the birth of Argentine politics. It only takes traveling some 300km south of Buenos Aires to understand to what extent the notion of a Nation and a territory is mainly a matter of fiction, still in our time. Yes, every nation in the world could be perceived as a tale, but then again we have only 200 years of independence and less than 150 since we have had a constitution. From 1816 (independence) to 1853 (constitution) it was all mayhem. Nationalists and liberals that often changed sides killed each other for over 30 years in the name of peace. It became a need to trace back the point of view of an early 19th century small-time politician. 
In the end, the project was reduced in my mind to two minimum axes: power and land. So after I read as many history books as I could for a month and so, after I talked to all kinds of historians—since history is a matter of quite open discussion here—I finally decided to write a script set 1835 in the middle of nowhere with characters that had no names. 
We shot El Movimiento in ten days, rushing to meet the Korean deadline. A heroic crew stood beside me as talented and wild lead actor Pablo Cedrón embodied a perfect Argentine leader. During the shooting, at times, it was hard to ease the desire of actually creating a Movement and a Nation, right there, in the middle of nowhere. Then again, I guess making films is a way to exorcise any need of real power. 

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