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Pioneering Argentinian Filmmaker Fernando Birri Dies at 92

HeadlineDec 28, 2017

And pioneering Argentinian filmmaker Fernando Birri has died. He’s considered the father of the New Latin American Cinema, which challenged Hollywood and focused on the lives of the oppressed in Latin America. Along with Gabriel García Márquez and others, Birri founded the International School of Film and Television in Cuba and served as the school’s first director. This is the Argentinian filmmaker, reading a poem in a short film by Michael Chanan entitled “Portrait of Fernando Birri.”

Fernando Birri: “'Poem in the Form of a Film Poster.' I see, I see a green parrot in the zoo in Berlin. And I think: the New Latin American Cinema is today a reality. But, but, but 25 years ago it was a Utopia. Which is the new Utopia? And the parrot, the green, green, green parrot, whose name in Latin is very difficult, but who is surely called Juancito or Nemesio, is a parrot from the Alto Paraná. That’s to say my brother or my cousin. I saw him, I saw him. And I think: National identity. Did the parrot need its national (and critical) identity? But us, we do. We needed it. For a national cinema, realist and critical. Later we added: popular.”

Argentinian filmmaker Fernando Birri has died at the age of 92 in Rome.

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