Special Program JORGE ACHA © Viennale

JORGE ACHA

From the Secret History of Argentinian Cinema

The history of cinema – whether it is the history of a country’s films or the story of cinema seen as a supplementary country – has some consecrated names and golden eras, as well as footnotes and forgotten names. Jorge Acha, an Argentinean filmmaker, lived 49 years. He was an exceptional painter, he wrote on cinema, and he also made three remarkable feature films between 1987 and 1992 (as well as some short films). The syntax of Acha’s films is completely unfamiliar to classic linearity and aesthetical moderation. His films collect various episodes associated to a specific situation: the imprisonment of a political prisoner during the most recent Argentinean military dictatorship (HABEAS CORPUS), the disagreements between a delirious nationalist project and those in charge of building it (STANDARD), and the journey into the American jungle by two renowned European scientists in search of knowledge (MBURUCUYÁ). In all cases, the tale ends up as a promise set aside by a sensory intensity applied to expose the predominant feeling of the protagonists. The name of Jorge Acha is usually missing in encyclopedias and in Argentinean or Latin American film lessons. Probably, this is because his films have been scarcely distributed and are little known. However, Acha is one of the greatest secrets in Argentinean cinema and his premature death interrupted a body of work that could have been even more decisive because this filmmaker’s formal sophistication and conceptual interests prove the relevance of his films.