Interview with director of film “Door of Iron”: explores the exile of the leader and his personal life

by Marfa Nekrasova, contributing blogger

Puerta de Hierro: El exilio de Perón (The Door of Iron: Peron’s Exile) follows 17 years of the legendary president Juan Perón, already without Eva, without Argentina, without power. He is just a man, an Argentinian exile in Spain, living with his wife Isabel, doing sports and going to doctors. But the best treatment is given to him by Sofia, a young shop girl that listens to his stories without knowing his surname. The film highlights the recuperation of Evita´s body (which was “kidnapped” or stolen for two decades) and the internal fights in his own movement between left-wing and right-wing forces, both who want to shape “Perónism”, whether Perón agrees or does not. The central conflict is whether he will be able to return to Argentina or be forced to remain in Spain. It is a moving film for anyone interested in Argentine history or who enjoys a good biopic.

Perón is played by the great Argentinian actor Victor Laplace, who is not only a “peronist” who lived in exile during the military dictatorship, but who has also played the political leader many times before (including in the 1996 movie “Eva Perón” and starring in the play “Borges y Perón” (2010) which he directed). He shared the direction of this film with Dieguillo Fernandez who sat down with Filming in Argentina to talk about his latest film.

What is the share between the fiction and the true story in the movie?

Dieguillo Fernandez: We don’t have a lot of historical documents of the life of Perón, mostly some memoirs and stories of the people who knew him. We were interested in showing his everyday life, the intimate life that no one spoke of before. At a certain point, when the material we had was not enough, we asked ourselves: “And now? What?”.  From there we put out the subjectivity with the compromise and responsibility to the history but with the intuition and imagination as well. Sofia is a made-up character of pure fiction. Everyone treated him like a marble statue, and not like a human being, except that young girl who didn’t recognize him.

Peron was really practicing yoga?

Yes. Yoga at that time was something very modern. In many aspects, especially in his politics, Peron preceded his time.

 Why have you chosen this period of Peron’s life in particular?

That is the period of his life that has been talked about less. We caught him not at the peak of his career, he is exiled and ill, but still he has the strength to keep the movement alive, motivate and add new generations to it.

How did you achieve the effect of the magic sepia style image?

We worked a lot with the director of photography on the color, tones, lights, inspired by the photos of Gonzalo Juanes, the Austrian photographer who was capturing the everyday life in the 60s and 70s. The final image was gotten in post production.

Where did you film?

In Buenos Aires we filmed for 8 weeks, 4 weeks of them in the real house of Perón (which is now a museum) in San Vicente that played the role of his house in Spain. The scene of the bombing was really shot in the defense ministry, the parts of the airport in Rio de Janeiro – in the military park, and all the street views in Spain were shot during 3 days in Galicia.

How was the movie financed?

Mostly by the different cultural departments of the provinces of Argentina (Chaco, Buenos Aires, San Juan, Entre Rios, Formosa, Chubut, Mendoza, etc), By Canal America and some other sponsors, and by INCAA.

What are you working on now?

Soon I will start shooting a documentary movie about the disease as the path, and I’m writing the script for a fiction movie that will take place mostly in the world of the Catch (Argentine wrestling with masks).

For more information:

http://www.lapuertadehierro.com

Currently in theaters.

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