Controversial Falklands War Film 'Blessed by Fire' Opens + Iranian Cinema Awards

Blessed by Fire Iluminados por el fuego Gastón PaulsBlessed by Fire: Controversial Argentinean movie revisits the Falklands War

Blessed by Fire / Iluminados por el fuego is a new – and controversial – Argentinean movie depicting Argentina's disastrous military campaign to take over the Falkland Islands (known in that country as Las Malvinas) from Britain in the early '80s. (Image: Gastón Pauls Blessed by Fire.)

Directed and co-written by Tristán Bauer, and starring the excellent Gastón Pauls (the younger con man in Nine Queens / Nueve reinas), Blessed by Fire is based on a book by Edgardo Esteban, who was one of the underarmed and underfed conscripts sent to fight the much better equipped British armed forces in the inhospitable South Atlantic archipelago.

“When you are 18, you don't think about death,” says Esteban, currently a TV journalist. “But ever since this war, death has been with us constantly. Two things help me close this chapter – the book and now the movie.”

The dangers of patriotic fervor

Blessed by Fire is partly told in flashbacks, having as its starting point the suicide of a war veteran. (According to the filmmakers, approximately 300 Falklands War veterans have killed themselves; if so, that's more than the number of those who died in land battles on the islands.) Tristán Bauer's film also uses clips from newsreels, including one showing thousands of Argentines cheering then-president General Leopoldo Galtieri following his declaration of war.

Despite widespread corruption and economic rot, Argentina's military junta was quite popular among die-hard Argentinean right-wingers, though the Falklands War debacle paved the way for the democratization of that country's political system.

Blessed by Fire, which took five years to make, opens tomorrow, September 8, in Argentina. Besides Gastón Pauls, the cast includes Pablo Riva, César Albarracín, Víctor Hugo Carrizo, Virginia Innocenti, Juan Leyrado, Jon Lucas, and Arturo Bonín.

Source: AlertNet.

Gastón Pauls Blessed by Fire photo: Distribution Company.

2005 Iran Cinema Celebration Awards

2005 Iran Cinema Celebration: Vahdat Hall in Tehran on September 11, 2005. 

Best Film: Khilli dors khilli nazdek / So Close, So Far directed and produced by Reza Mir-Karimi

Best Director: Reza Mir-Karimi (Khilli dors khilli nazdek / So Close, So Far)

Best Actor: Masud Rayegan (Khilli dors khilli nazdek / So Close, So Far)

Best Actress: Fereshteh Sadr-Orafaii (Border Café)

Best Supporting Actor: Mohsen Qazi-Morad (We Are All Good)

Best Supporting Actress: Elham Hamidi (Khilli dors khilli nazdek / So Close, So Far)

Best Screenplay: Café Transit written by Kambuzia Partovi

Best Cinematography: Mahmud Kalari (Fish Fall in Love)

Best Film Editing: Mostafa Kherqepush (Duel)

Best Sound Recording: Bahman Ardalan (Duel)

Best Music: Ahmad Pejman (The Weeping Willow)

Best Sound Effects: Masud Behnam and Hamid Naqibi (Duel)

Best Special Effects: Mohsen Ruzbehani (Duel)

Best Costume and Production Design: Amir Esbati (Duel)

Best Makeup: Mohammadreza Qowmi (Khilli dors khilli nazdek / So Close, So Far)

Best Studio: Filmsaz (Khilli dors khilli nazdek / So Close, So Far)

Best Documentary: The Other Side of the Burka directed by Mehrdad Oskuii

Best Animated Film: Iranian Chat directed by Amir Sharkhiz

Best Short Fiction Film: A Bit Higher directed by Mehdi Jafari

Best Photographer: Babak Borzuyeh (The Verdict)

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3 Comments to Controversial Falklands War Film 'Blessed by Fire' Opens + Iranian Cinema Awards

  1. Tim

    As a former soldier who fought during The Falklands Conflict (not a War) I would like to comment that we were not better equipped , we had inferior small arms (FN181) SLR that could not fire on automatic , only single shots. Our ankle boots however good they looked on the parade ground were totally unsuitable for this roll. No British solider I know would ever wear the helmets we were issued as they were, again totally unfit for purpose. Our uniforms albeit fine for European conditions in this semi arctic weather … Unless.
    We too were cold, wet and hungry


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  3. Rafael

    ey weno soy rafael de argentina y tengo 16 años. La verdad es que valia la pena reconstruir un hecho como el que vivio toda esa gente (en mayor parte jovenes un poco mas grandes que yo) en Malvinas. Gaston Pauls es unn exelente actor y siempre se ha dedicado a tratar temas que jugaban con los principios y/o problemas sociales en argentina, por eso supongo que fue necesario o jugo buena parte en el papel de soldado nacional. Espero la pelicula no sea malinterpretada, quiero decir, mucha gente aqui en argentina a tomado una ideologia bastante errada sobre lo que el “nacionalismo” trata a partir de esta pelicula. Todos estamos enterados de los actuales problemas diplomaticos entre las naciones del mundo, pero a la hora de pelear en un campo de batalla, no cuenta mas que el odio entre las cabezeras que iniciaron el hecho, no creo que ningun soldado tanto argentino como ingles haya querido morir en accion o de frio alli abajo.
    Quiero dejar como cierre a mi comentario la idea de ACTUAR AHORA, nuestra sociedad esta dividida, se recuerda demasiado el pasado, se vive poco el presente. No vamos nunca a llegar a nada concreto sino creamos un pensamiento en comun, por el que todos podamos luchar dentro de un sistema que el debil es dominado y obligado a permanecer inactivo por el hecho de no forjar su mente para vivir MEJOR.

    No nos separemos, y recordemos tambien que la bandera no es mas que un rectangulo de tela que nos da “nacionalismo”, pero sin darnos cuenta separa a todo un mundo.