Since the mid-1990s, Argentine filmmaking has experienced a boom in
production that at the time of writing shows no signs of abating. Critics and
film festivals worldwide have not been slow to herald a renaissance in Ar-
gentine cinema, and accolades, prizes and other sources of funding have
secured access for a number of these films to screens around the world.
That national production should show such a dramatic increase—from four-
teen feature films in 1994 to sixty-six in 2004—is remarkable; that it should
do so at a time of severe economic crisis is quite extraordinary.∞
In December 2001 Argentina’s economic recession had reached the
point at which the state’s policy of convertibility, under which the peso had
been pegged to the dollar throughout the 1990s, became impossible to
sustain. Financial investors withdrew, and there was a run on banks (el
corralito), which reacted by freezing deposits, preventing individuals from
accessing their savings. A measure of the depth of the Crisis is given by a
comparison of gdp levels, which show a drop of almost 20 percent between
1998 and 2002, the sharpest fall experienced by any capitalist country of
some significance at least since World War II and ‘‘the gravest economic
event ever in a country known for the recurrence of crises.’’≤
The rapid
devaluation of the peso and the subsequent ‘‘pesification’’ of savings ac-
counts was accompanied by wide-scale protests and food riots. Argentina
had no fewer than five presidents within a period of less than two weeks
at the end of December 2001. As a number of commentators have noted,
the slogan chanted over and over again during this period—‘‘que se vayan
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