This recommendation is a bit unconventional, and that’s because this movie is in English.
However, it offers a very one-sided view of Eva Perón, known as Evita (ito or ita means“little”, so “Evita” means “Little Eva”).
This movie, released in 1996, follows the hit musical Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber starring Madonna as Eva Perón, Antonio Banderas as Che, and Jonathan Pryce as Juan Perón. This movie depicts a very one-sided tale of Eva Perón. The narrator, Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, presents Eva as a woman who came from nothing but made her way to the top thanks to the company of strong and powerful men. This is unlike the novel in this month’s Recommended Read, Eterna by Mabel Pagano, which sheds a more compassionate light on Eva and her legacy.
The movie is almost entirely sung through, featuring the soundtrack of the musical, with the addition of a new song, “You Must Love Me”, which Madonna sings before her inevitable death. Speaking of which, the movie starts by announcing her death in a movie theatre in Buenos Aires and then backtracks to the death of her father, where we learn that Eva is the child of his mistress and thus is banned from his funeral. From there, the movie continues in chronological order, and we learn about Eva’s rise to fame. We learn about her ephemeral love affairs, which pale in comparison to when she meets Colonel Perón. From here, she makes her mark and rises to the most prestigious position: First Lady of Argentina. We experience this glorious scene on the balcony of the actual Casa Rosada, delivering her emblematic song, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” to her descamisados (also known as the shirtless ones). This scene is one of the most powerful in the entire movie and the crew got special permission to use the governmental building, which is almost unheard of.
Throughout the movie, it is apparent that Che Guevara does not approve of Eva, showing a less flattering side of this famous figure. Although he does portray her philanthropic side, particularly the Fundación Eva Perón, it is a small glimpse of the work she did to better the lives of her people.
There is one scene that after seeing the movie a second time, I found quite important: “Waltz for Eva and Che”. This is the first and only time that the two characters interact with each other during the entire film. Additionally, Eva sings to Che, “So go if you’re able to somewhere unstable and stay there! Whip up your hate in some tottering state but not here dear, is that clear dear?” This perfectly encapsulates the movie’s portrayal of Eva Perón. Like all politicians, they want their policies in play and are threatened by anyone else, particularly if their ambitions are different and go against yours. This movie is available on Amazon Prime and Apple TV. As it’s rated PG, it is perfectly acceptable to watch at just about any age. If you like musical movies and want to learn about this time in Argentina, then this is a great movie for you