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“Liberators” Like Martí, Artigas, Bolívar, and San Martín Make the Jump to TV

By Dialogo
September 22, 2009

“Liberators,” presented in San Sebastián, is a collection of eight TV movies that will be broadcast next year on Televisión Española (TVE) in order to introduce the public to the ideas and actions of the most significant figures of the struggle for independence in Latin America. The names of José Martí (Cuba), José Gervasio Artigas (Uruguay), Joaquim José da Silva “Tiradientes” (Brazil), Moreno and Mina (Mexico), José de San Martín (Argentina), Bernardo O’Higgins (Chile), Túpac Amaru (Peru), and Simón Bolivar (Venezuela) are those that form the collection. As producer José Mª Morales (Wanda Films) explained at the Festival of San Sebastián, “Liberators” aims “to go into the more human aspects of these individuals and transmit their liberating ideology, which went beyond the search for independence and pursued the liberation of humanity as such.” Two of the chapters in the collection have already been filmed, one of them the one dedicated to José Martí, directed by the Cuban Fernando Pérez, responsible for titles like “Madagascar” (1994), “La vida es silbar” [Life Is to Whistle] (1998), and “Suite Habana” [Havana Suite] (2002), and concentrating on the young Martí, “the one who didn’t yet know what he was going to represent in the history of America and who was already uniting all the conflicts of present-day Cuba,” according to Morales. The other chapter that is ready is the one centered on the figure of the Argentine José de San Martín, directed by Tristán Bauer, responsible for “Iluminados por el fuego” [Blessed by Fire] (2005), and Leandro Ipiña, who concentrate on the period in San Martín’s biography most dominated by warfare, especially the battle to cross the Andes. Next to be filmed will be the TV movie dedicated to Artigas, directed by César Charlone, a habitual collaborator of Fernando Meirelles, who expects Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho to play the part of Aníbal Larra, charged with a mission to try to assassinate Artigas. Rodolfo Sancho is the son of Sancho Garcia, also an actor, who is one of the principal supporters of this initiative through his production company, Lusa Films, and is responsible for the idea of showing through “Liberators” the idea of fraternity existing among the peoples of Latin America and their free relationship with the rest of the world, based on the literature that exists about these men, the legends that have come to surround their figures, and even their personal writings. Filmmakers like the Mexican Arturo Ripstein and the Brazilian Marcelo Gomes are also going to collaborate on the collection.