Imagine Michael Moore in the US Congress. While that seems impossible, Buenos Aires voters gave a surprising second place finish to famous documentary film director Pino Solanas, who will now head a six person leftist coalition in congress.
Pino Solanas, 73, hails from an upper class home but spent his life making films that take a stance against class injustice and imperialism. But his movies are more than just messages: they are gripping to watch, have won tons of awards and convoke large audiences. Art for the masses.
In 1968 Solanas directed the Latin American Liberation classic “La Hora de los Hornos” (the hour of the ovens), which over 6 hours long details the oppression of the working class at the hands of internal and external forces. It was designed to be used in political discussion groups, and is still shown today in film schools.
Here is a random insert. The first sentence: The Latin American people are a condemned people.
In the past decade he has turned his lens onto the political and economic collapse of Argentina in Memoria del Saqueo (2004) (Memory of the Looting), the destruction of the once proud train system in Próxima Estación (2008) (Next Station), and also hightlighed the resources that can rescue a country in decline in Argentina Latente (2007) (Argentina Is Ready).
Pino Solanas heads a party called Proyecto Sur that wants to protect the natural resources of Argentina, nationalize key industries, and restructure the education and health system to provide the care that the poor need. The idea is to return Argentina to its proud past as an industrialized nation in which no child goes hungry.
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From the Buenos Aires Herald:
Updating yesterday’s report on the city elections, we can give the final breakdown of deputies as five PRO, four for the Proyecto Sur of “Pino” Solanas, three for the Civic and Social Accord (including its leader Elisa Carrió, whose seat was in doubt at press time on Sunday) and just Carlos Heller for the Victory Front. At press time on Sunday we had PRO’s lead in doubt in three of the 15 communes but in the end City Mayor’s Mauricio Macri’s party only trailed in the 15th commune (the Paternal/Chacarita area, won by Solanas).
The 60-seat City legislature saw PRO with exactly the same 26-seat total as before with both the Victory Front opposition and single-seat parties losing ground to third parties. Pro-Kirchner legislators slumped from 13 to eight, Solanas erupted into the assembly with eight legislators and the Civic Coalition and ex-mayor Aníbal Ibarra each picked up a seat, rising to eight and five respectively. Only half the 10 single-seat parties now survive.