El documental sin fin: filmar al desaparecido
Since the early 2000s, the children of the disappeared have used cinema to question what it means to develop a culture of memory in spaces where terror was carried out as part of a State policy. This article focuses on the recent film productions of the post-dictatorship generation to analyze them from a perspective that combines notions of memory studies with the analysis of film techniques. The performative documentary Los rubios(2003) by Albertina Carri can be seen as the precursor of a narrative turn towards an institutional narrative on human rights, within which documentary film was a socio-political tool in post-dictatorship Argentina. Carri unbalances the objectivity of the documentary film genre and, most importantly, confronts the ethical implications of engaging in a politics of memory. This film opens the possibility that other post-dictatorship directors respond to the need to explore the immaterial consequences produced by disappearance. Responding to this call, the post-dictatorship filmmaker Jonathan Perel documents in El predio(2010) the transformation of an old concentration camp (the Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada [ESMA]) into a space where memory is exerted in a performative way. Through his focus on the materiality of this space, Perel examines the inevitable limitations of a culture of memory and posits that the ESMA building remains a specter of terror. This paper analyzes the way in which both directors stimulate the imagination of the audience so that both the filmmakers and the public can reflect on the performative dimension of the documentary in the production and consumption of traumatic memories.