MISSION LA PAZ

DOCUMENTARY – 2007

ARGENTINA’S BORDERS – SERIES
produced by the Secretary of Culture for Canal Encuentro (Argentina)

misionlapaz

Frontier between Argentina and Paraguay: Mission La Paz, Salta.

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Passing throuhg the woods in Tartagal to Mission La Paz is not easy. In summer, rains and the rising river can cut the way and turn a trip of a few kilometers into a journey of more than ten hours. In winter it is like crossing a desert dust.

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An old bus makes the trip three times a week, communicating towns and landscapes, moving food, animals and luggage piled on the roof. It is ominous to see a Wichi aboriginal get off the bus, charged with a handbag and disappear into the forest. Where there seemed to be nothing, there is something. This turns out to be the clear image of a hidden culture.

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In the small village of Mission La Paz, an international bridge that joins Argentina and Paraguay has been erected less then 20 years ago. Designed as the spearhead of a new bi-oceanic corridor – a pharaonic project that never materialized – the international bridge stands as a symbol of civilization, whose progress gradually changes the physiognomy and customs of the region.

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In this context we find several men and women who live there and think about the future in different ways. Some of them are Laureano Segovia a Wichi writer who wrote three books on “The Ancients”; Daniel Nielli, a social worker descendant of Italian immigrants, born in Chivilcoy living there for 20 years; and Victor Gonzalez, the chief of Mission La Paz, and grandson of the former chief who led the taking of the bridge during its construction in the 90’s.

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The international border in Mission La Paz is not only blurred by the capricious river Pilcomayo, also by the idea of an Argentina spoken in Wichi or Chorote by a cultyre hidden in the Chaco forest. When we asked Artin Bravo (and old musician and shaman) what he most liked about living in Mision La Paz, he replied: “being Argentine.”

DIRECTORS: Sebastián Antico and Gianfranco Quattrini
PRODUCERS: Diego Marquís and Julián Troksberg
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Eduardo Yedlin
FIELD PRODUCER: Diego Calderón
EDITING: Sebastián Antico and Gianfranco Quattrini
SOUND DESIGN: Esteban Golobucki

DURATION: 56′