Home News "Ma’am"the film that portrays the academic decline of Argentina: "There is a crisis of democracy"

"Ma’am"the film that portrays the academic decline of Argentina: "There is a crisis of democracy"

"Ma’am"the film that portrays the academic decline of Argentina: "There is a crisis of democracy"

Of all the figures that cinema has idealized to its satiety, in addition to the journalist and the actor, the professor stands out. For some reason, perhaps eloquent, perhaps naive, the climax of the Humanities is translated into the seventh art in the Greco-Roman style, as a reflective figure and somewhat broken by the turns of the world. Therefore, when we meet a teacher like the one played wonderfully by Marcelo Subiotto in “Ma’am”one also wants to believe a little in goodwill. Well versed in philosophythe doctrine of thought that he defends as popular, his professor Pena (it’s a coincidence), has to face, at the same time, the death of one of his best friends and the possible closure of its faculty in a decadent Argentina which is already preparing for the rise of populism like that of Javier Milei.

Subiotto, who won the award for Best Performance at the last San Sebastian Festival, is here placed under the command of two contemporary geniuses of melancholy such as Maria Alche y Benjamin Naishtat, directors, screenwriters and a well-known couple who also won the Best Screenplay award in Donosti. “I came to the project four years ago, when the directors met with me right after the pandemic. They had written it for me, and I admire them very much, so I didn’t even think about it,” explains Subiotto. And he continues: “The character suffers, as if on a path of Passion. The environment overwhelms him all the time, so what we see in the film is more of a body than a person.. If we wanted to make a reference to silent cinema, to Keaton and Chaplin, it is like one of their characters that the world passes over. But they don’t stop, they keep moving towards disasters,” reflects the actor, who He finds comedy in the entanglements of his Marcelo and in the escape from the melancholic.in a revision of tone more typical of New York cinema of the seventies than of that contemporary Latin “situationism” that permeates modern South American cinema.

Subiotto won the award for Best Actor at the San Sebastian Festival
Subiotto won the award for Best Actor at the San Sebastian FestivalTHE ADVENTURE

A philosopher with absolute pitch

“I was lucky enough to feel, from a young age, a vocational call towards acting. When you find that, you enter the territory of happiness and desire. Of course, not everything turns out well, but you are not left with the doubt of what would have happened if,” explains Subiotto about that mid-life crisis that he does not share with his character, but that does become a method of acting exploration when we lower the ball to the ground and talk about philosophy, one of his great personal passions: ” I like philosophy and I have taken several courses, but always as a guitar player who plays by ear. For the film, we worked a lot on didactics, advised by philosophy professors. I was worried about not falling asleep at the convention, about what the viewer may or may not expect from a philosophy professor.. We had to empathize, not bore, make him understand that he only feels like someone in life when he is teaching,” she points out.

“Ma’am”in which Subiotto shares the leading role with Leonardo Sbaraglia who plays the “chanta”, that figure who It is understood on both sides of the Andes as smoke sellers., is also a complaint. About the precariousness that educators have to face, but above all the job insecurity that the trainers of the leaders of the future deal with. “Public education in Argentina has been problematic for decades. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but it is always fighting to resurface. Right now, we have the country divided, and it is an almost fortuitous matter. Current events have been included in the film, more than the other way around. But you can’t escape from it, because it’s what teachers face every day,” adds Subiotto calmly.

And we write with restraint because Sbaraglia, his co-star, he almost replicated one of the scenes from “Puan” this week, defending public aid to Argentine cinema in the streets. In the middle of the demonstration, which took place at the headquarters of the Gaumont cinema in Buenos Aires, Sbaraglia defended INCAA, the organization that supports film creation in his country with subsidies and that has been dried up, de facto, by Javier’s government. Milei. What the hell is happening in Argentina? “I don’t know if it is an Argentine or global issue, but there is a resurgence of the extreme right that has found new legitimacy in its speeches. And I already think this as a citizen, because I don’t have answers, but it seems to me that the problem is transversal. to Latin America. There is a crisis of democracy, in which we give old answers to new problems. It is a childish mistake that gives rise to populism that promises to fix reality with a slap. But in Latin America we know that that is not the case, or at least we should have learned that that is not the case,” the interpreter completes accurately.