The Gaucho in Argentinian cinema

The figure of the gaucho is an important and distinctive component of Argentine identity, which has been present in literature, music, painting, theater, and also in cinema.

The gaucho’s identity was skillfully described in El gaucho Martín Fierro written by José Hernández in 1872. But when cinema came to Argentina for the first time in 1896, there was a new way to represent this emblematic character of our country’s culture.

During the first decades of Argentine cinema, filmmakers were concerned with portraying the image of the gaucho through important productions such as Nobleza gaucha (1915), with a plot by José González Castillo and directed by Humberto Cairo, Ernesto Gunche and Eduardo Martinez de la Pera. The plot of this feature film tells the story of a young woman kidnapped by a wealthy man, who upon seeing the intentions of rescuing a gaucho, turns to a corrupt guard to accuse him of being a thief and get away with it.

Almost ten years later, Martín Fierro (1923), by Alfredo Quesada, was screened, a film based on the poem by José Hernández. Not all of the gaucho films created managed to position themselves as well-received productions. However, certain films such as The Last Centaur, the epic of Juan Moreira (1924), directed by Enrique Queirolo, that narrates some of the exploits of the gaucho Juan Moreira, initially a novel written by Eduardo Gutiérrez, were well received by the public.

Some more recent productions featuring Gauchos and their culture are: “Mate cosido, el bandolero fantasma” (2003) by Michelina Oviedo, “El gauchito Gil, la sangre inocente” (2006), by Ricardo Becher and “Martín Fierro: the animated movie” (2007).

Enjoy watching these films as an interesting and fun approach to learn more about Gauchos!

Martín Fierro: The Movie

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