For three years the Association of Argentine Documentary Filmmakers (DOCA), has developed a national festival of independent documentary cinema in our country. In our second and third years we have opened the doors to international production teams that wish to show their works alongside those from Argentina but still placing the emphasise on the most recent Latin American accomplishments.
In the documentary film genre we have tackled themes and points of view that are at a distance to what can usually be seen in the mainstream media. For this, the festival and the documentaries shown maintain your respect and public support.
In the International Section of the Third Festival DOCA organised in Buenos Aires in November 2009 (the programme of which was made publicily available although it was only publicised on the state channel not through the mainstream media), there were several documentaries projected that showed different aspects and diverse points of view on the many different struggles of the Latin-American people, as one of these, and with the public's support, we projected the documentary “FARC, la insurgencia del siglo XXI”.
Nearly two months have passed since the public showing of this documentary (that had already been exhibited in several Latin-American and European countries as well as, at the festival in Havana), the president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, has criticized the exhibition of the film saying that " it is a video that a few foreigners helped to produce to let the FARC tell another lie to the world ".
Likewise, the Colombian Minister of Defense, Gabriel Silva, said in regards to the matter that "those advertising or advertising terrorist acts or the proclamations of these bandits, is an accomplice of them”.
This attitude of condemning the exhibition of a documentary film in another country, can only be understood coming from a government that has a record for violating human rights. On the other hand, besides being an inadmissible foreign interference in the freedom of expression in Argentina, the Minister of Defense appeals to a fallacious argument, since it would be necessary to apply this reflection to any film or newscast that was expressing controversial facts relating to international policy.
In this way any organization could be accused of organising a Nazi festival if they exhibited Leni Riefenstahl's film, of inducing a catastrophe for spreading the cinema of Santiago Álvarez, or of antiimperialism for exhibiting one of Michael Moore's documentaries.
"FARC: La insurgencia del siglo XXI" has also been criticised for the use of pseudonyms in the credits. Do they not know that the history of the cinema is filled with numerous films whose authors wished to remain anonymous. That many documentary makers pursue the construction of a critical body of work more than an opportunity to show off their name. And that different historical contexts determined this position in pursuit of the safety of the filmmakers and artists.
However, this reaction does not surprise us coming from the imperial allies in Latin America.
Inside DOCA the positions on FARC are diverse, but with respect to the government of Uribe we understand that it is: oppressor, authoritarian, that desires eternal re-election to guarantee the installation of North American military bases and to increase the imperialistic firepower against the Latin-American people.
In the same way that DOCA was the vehicle that made public in our country the pursuit of Chilenan documentary filmaker Elena Varela, for defending the interests of the people of Mapuche, and we do not hesitate to claim Michel Bachelet responsibility, we will continue with the normal activity of our association without allowing ourselves to be intimidated by false accusations or threats.
Freedom for art, defense of the democratic freedoms and of freedom of expression. This is our fight.