Habeas Corpus

V'18

Habeas Corpus

Jorge Acha
Argentinien, 1986
59min, OmeU

© Viennale © Viennale

Habeas Corpus

Jorge Acha
Argentinien, 1986
, 59min, OmeU

Cast: 
Jorge Díez
Luis Nieto
Óscar Bernales
Screenplay: 
Jorge Acha
Camera: 
José Celeiro
Editor: 
Jorge Acha
Composer: 
Guillermo Silveira
Decoration: 
Taller Azul

Production: 
El Jaguar
Cooperativa de Trabajo Cinematográfico Arena
Format: 
DCP
Color

In Acha’s first feature, HABEAS CORPUS, the offscreen context is Pope John Paul II’s first visit to Argentina during that country’s most recent civil-military dictatorship. The Pope is not seen, but he is heard. As it happens, a guard working in a clandestine detention center has the radio on and listens to the broadcast of the various religious services offered to worshippers by the highest representative of God on Earth; the highest military authorities are among those present in the services. The sounds of faith stand in contrast to the images in that horror chamber. A naked man in a cell conveys to us an intuition – his fate is not that different to the pains suffered, many centuries before, by the Son of God. Punishments are sensed; that is, they are also not seen. But that body is subject to the guard’s will. Clearly under the influence of Genet’s “Un chant d’amour”, in this case the repressor is eroticized – indirectly and perversely – by the prisoner. Not many films are as faithful to their title and manage to convey the semantic power they want to synthetize as this one does. The referred-to legal institution is seen from beginning to end; just as the surface of the body is watched – almost microscopically – as a physical extension of pleasure and, also, as an extension for punishments. (Roger Koza)

Jorge Acha: IMPASSE (1969, K), HABEAS CORPUS (1986), STANDARD (1989), MBURUCUYÁ, CUADROS DE LA NATURALEZA (1991)