An enigmatic 16 mm documentary short film was found by a collector in the state of Córdoba. This documentary tells the story of a family of cartoneros (persons who collect salable material from the garbage), weeks after the national elections won by Héctor Cámpora in 1973. Norma Teresa Cuevas de Aresta, 37 years old and mother of 17 children speaks directly to the camera. She tells about their dreams and their hopes regarding the country that lies ahead once Perón returns to the country. It’s a woman deeply peronist and believer.
The documentary itself is a find. It’s poignant and eloquent. Taking into consideration the quality of the images and the technique regarding mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing and sound we wonder: who made this documentary? How nobody knows it? The film is a copy in 16 mm that has no titles or closing credits. It was found in a pizza box with the evocative handwritten inscription “San Perón”. The first encounter with the film produces emotion and triggers a series of unanswered questions. On the one hand are the enigmas related with the discovery of this film and on the other hand, those that have to do with this woman and this family. Who filmed it? With what aim? Was that film made in clandestinity? What happened to that family? How are they now?
All these mysteries led us to find first the filmmakers and then Norma’s family. The documentary will depict the historical and political situation of the Argentina of the early 70s and – ultimately –the inscrutable and exciting political movement called Peronism.
Three stories are interwoven. The children and grandchildren of the protagonist, who felt re-identified from the discovery of the short film (even the youngest were able to knew their mother thanks to it); the story of the director of the short film, who was kidnapped in 1973 and suffered a defeat which he couldn’t recover until today and, finally, the story of the short film itself, than as a capsule in time waited more than 40 years to meet with the public. All these issues lead us – again and again – to the immense humanity of Norma, our protagonist.