Many of us are currently making our way through season three of House of Cards, while others already finished after a shameless, 13-hour weekend glut-fest. And while the Underwood’s unscrupulous, sometimes murderous thirst for absolute power is a case of fiction bordering uncomfortably on fact, some might remember a curious headline that made its way out of Argentina back in January: Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman was mysteriously found dead the night before testifying against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, victim of an apparent suicide. It was a case of fact going well beyond fiction, and Jewish-Venezuelan producer Stan Jakubowicz has had the good sense of putting all of this into a screenplay and contacting the likes of Édgar Ramírez (Libertador) and Gael García Bernal to star in his upcoming feature, El Fiscal.
The roots of the so-called “Caso Nisman” were in a 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center: La Asociación Mutua Israelita Argentina, which left 85 people dead and injured hundreds more. Nisman allegedly had proof that Fernández de Kirchner had dropped the order of detention for the Iranian officials implicated in the attack in exchange for petroleum. Wire taps that intercepted communications from the President’s close allies apparently supported his claims. In the meantime, documents published by WikiLeaks showed that Nisman was acting on direct orders from the U.S. government to place the blame solely on Iran and not investigate a possible connection with Syria.
After an unconcluded twenty-year investigation, Nisman was found dead in his apartment the morning of January 18 with a bullet in his temple and no signs of forced entry, though he had a grocery list written out for the next day along with a warrant for the President’s arrest that was found in the trash. Only days earlier, a senior Argentine intelligence officer named Antonio Stiusso had suggested Nisman dismiss his security detail. When Stuisso was subpoenaed to testify in court by a special prosecutor, he fled the country, apparently evading unrelated charges for smuggling.
Holy crap. Without a doubt this is movie gold, but how Jakubowicz will approach this hot-off-the-press news item without jumping to premature and possibly counterproductive conclusions isn’t clear. Investigations are still very much ongoing, and we may not even get a sense of the depth of intrigue surrounding the Caso Nisman for decades to come.
According to recent statements, Jakubowicz sees El Fiscal as a thematic follow-up to his previous production, Lucía Puenzo’s Wakolda (The German Doctor), the true story of psychopathic Nazi doctor Josef Mengele’s South American adventures. As a capstone to a series he is calling the “Trilogy of Impunity,” Jakubowicz has also expressed interest in producing a third film exploring the theory that Hitler never took his own life, instead living out his years under cover in South America.