Clandestine Cinema: The Hour of the Furnaces
Image, The Hour of the Furnaces, Video Still
In conjunction with Roberto Jacoby’s 1968: el culo te abrocho, the UAG will feature the continuous screening of Fernando Solanas' and Octavio Getino’s The Hour of the Furnaces. This legendary 1968 documentary, about the post-war struggle against neo-colonialism in Argentina, quotes Che Guevara who famously said, "Now is the time of the furnaces, and only light should be seen." As Paul A. Schroeder, author of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea: The Dialectics of a Filmmaker, notes the film was shot clandestinely between 1966 and 1968, during the initial stages of what would come to be known as Argentina’s infamous “dirty war.” It was also screened clandestinely, to sympathetic audiences of workers, anarchists and revolutionaries who would regularly interrupt the projection to discuss concepts and issues raised in the film. What’s moving about the film today goes beyond the "truth claims" made by the filmmakers. The Hour of the Furnaces captured a revolutionary stance on the eve of the 1970s military coup that would soon advance genocide upon the Argentine Left. As such, it’s a prescient film for Americans to view today, not as a call to arms, but as a call for historical memory and global accountability.