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The Hour of the Furnaces

Fernando Ezequiel Solanas

Tickets at the door only.

(1968, Octavio Getino, Fernando Solanas) Incendiary and influential Argentinian agitprop in three sections: Notes and Testimonies on Neocolonialism, Violence and Liberation; Act for Liberation; and Violence and Liberation. Filmed in secret and distributed by workers organizations and student groups. In Spanish, with English subtitles.

Fernando Ezequiel Solanas, born in 1936, took the Argentine cinema world by storm with his his first feature film La Hora de los Hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces, co-directed in 1968 with Octavio Getino). The film is a magnificent documentary on neocolonialism, violence and exploitation in Latin America, in fact a revisionist take on the whole history of the region. Filmed and shown clandestinely during a military dictatorship, the film grabs your attention to the last minute in spite of its length (260 minutes). I still remember the deep impression left on me after viewing it in Los Angeles in 1969. The film won several international awards and was screened around the world.

Solanas was a founder of the Grupo Cine Liberación. This group proposed a new path for Argentine cinema, independent of, or opposite to the studio system (which had a rich history in Argentina, beginning in the silent era) and of the “auteur”, heavily intellectual, European inspired movement that took hold in the period 1956-1975. Together with Getino, Solanas wrote the manifesto “Toward a Third Cinema” which inspired film makers in developing countries in South America and other regions for many years.

The Hour of the Furnaces is a manifesto. It is unabashed propaganda from the first shot to the last. It is didactic, it is agitational, it acts like a detonator. It is, in essence, a guide to militant action. This is cinema par excellence… It belongs to the people, to the persecuted, to the humiliated, to all those whose condition is ‘rebellion.’ To all those who have nothing to lose but their chains.” – Mrinal Sen, Montage

“Monumental documentary about the long and tortuous history of dispossession. Spanning 4 centuries of Latin American dependence economies, this visual tour de force uses militant voice-over, amazing editing of footage from famine, sickness, deprivation, military/police violence and mingles these with cultural monuments and images of consumer imperialism. The result is dumbfounding, mobilizing mind, senses, soul.” – dionysus67, mubi



  • 1/14 | 8:00PM