Gael Garcia Bernal to Play a Ruthless Dictator in Movie About Eva Peron’s Embalmed Corpse

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Unlike its neighbors Chile and Paraguay, Argentina may not have had a clear-cut dictator to take responsibility for for the five years of violent repression that characterized the military junta of 1976-81. There was a broad range of responsibility spread out amongst several figures associated with the armed forces, all of whom were ultimately pardoned by president Carlos Menem in the early 90s. But there was one particularly nefarious individual who is often credited with masterminding the “Dirty War” that pulverized internal opposition by disappearing, torturing, and killing countless thousands of innocent civilians: Gael García Bernal.

Or rather, Gael García Bernal will be playing that nefarious individual — who happened to be named Emilio Eduardo Massera — in an upcoming film by Argentine director Pablo Agüero entitled Eva no duerme. Without a doubt Gael has interpreted a diverse range of characters throughout his 20-plus-year career as an actor, but this is the first time the 36-year-old heartthrob will play an evil 50-year-old navy admiral turned ruthless dictator, or really anything involving the words “evil” or “50-year-old.” But the real star of Eva no duerme, which recently picked up top honors at the Toulouse CineLatino Festival’s Films in Progress competition, is the titular Eva Perón — or rather, her corpse.

Emilio Eduardo Massera
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Yes, in a rather bizarre chapter in the pageant of Latin American history, Evita’s embalmed corpse spent 16 years floating anonymously from country to country before resurfacing in 1971. Five years later, Massera took it upon himself to disappear the body once-and-for-all under 6 feet of cement. Eva no duerme, will follow this post-mortem odyssey from the moment of Evita’s last public appearance all the way through to Massera’s vindictive reprisal several decades later.

Films in Progress is a cooperative initiative between several film festivals that provides resources to films that are in early stages of post-production, which means Eva no duerme has already been shot and edited, and just needs to jump through a few final hurdles before making its requisite rounds on the festival circuit. With the film’s world class production on board, we can certainly expect to catch it in some of the most important cinematic showcases.