Hugo Blanco, Deep River
Portrait in a diptych of Hugo Blanco, the "Peruvian Che Guevara”, a legendary Trotskyist guerrillero and famous peasant leader of the sixties, who preferred to deconstruct his leadership and to encourage self-government becoming an anonymous activist: Hugo Indio.
Starting with a journey to the forgotten jungle village where Hugo Blanco’s fight and fame began, the film director looks for the traces of the young black-bearded man with a gun on his shoulder and raised fist shouting "Land or Death!" and finds the traces of the indigenous peasant movement.
In the second part - in the aftermath of the Peruvian Internal Armed Conflict - she meets the tireless Hugo Blanco, her father’s revolutionary hero, in person. He is now a white-bearded indigenous and environmental activist: Hugo Indio.
How and why did the inspiring hero come to decide to withdraw from his position of leadership?
The film is a diptych divided by a hiatus of silence and mourning for the sixty thousand indigenous people whose blood flowed in rivers when a generation’s dream turned into a nightmare: the dream of the armed revolution.
Malena Martinez CabreraDirector
Malena Martinez CabreraProducer
Hugo Blanco GaldosKey Cast"Protagonist"
Gustavo Schiaffino, Malena Martínez, Carlos SánchezKey Cast"Photography"
Omar Mustafá, Guido DeniroKey Cast"Sound"
Malena Martínez C., Alexandra WedenigKey Cast"Editing"
Project Title (Original Language):Hugo Blanco, Río Profundo
Project Type:Documentary, Feature
Genres:Portrait, history, indigenous people, politics, revolution
Runtime:1 hour 48 minutes 20 seconds
Completion Date:March 1, 2019
Production Budget:100 EUR
Country of Origin:Austria
Country of Filming:Peru
One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.Prague
March 12, 2019
Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Uruguay AtlantidocMontevideo
December 8, 2019
Best international documentary 2019
20. imagineNATIVE Film + Visual Arts FestivalToronto
North American Premiere
Cinélatino. 31es Rencontres de Toulouse, 2019Toulouse
March 24, 2019
Festival de Cine de Lima, 2019Lima
August 13, 2019
Hecho en el Perú competitive selection
August 30, 2019
FIDBA Festival Internacional de Documentales de Buenos AiresBuenos Aires
September 6, 2019
5. Semana del Cine. Universidad de LimaLima
November 6, 2019
Festival Corriente de No-FicciónArequipa
November 23, 2019
This Human World. International Human Rights Film FestivalVienna
December 5, 2019
Festival Nacional de Cine de HuánucoHuánuco
Best national feature documentary
Peruvian filmmaker, photographer and cultural journalist based in Vienna, Austria, since 2000. Master in Creative Documentary (University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 2007). Artistic Photography (Schule Friedl Kubelka, Vienna, 2014). Mag. Romanic Philology (University of Vienna, 2006). Bach. Literature and Linguistics (Universidad Católica, Peru, 1999). Mentoring program with Ruth Beckermann (FC Gloria, Vienna, 2015). ARCHIDOC alumna (La Fémis, 2015). Music studies (Conservatorio Nacional, Lima).
El juramento de Mándor 5' 2019
Hugo Blanco, Deep River 108’ 2019
Arcane 1’14’’ 2017
Cinco trotskistas y Hugo Blanco 6’13’’ 2017
Diálogos que son monólogos 2’ 2016
Archetype 1’15'' 2015
Hugo Blanco y el periódico Lucha Indígena 15’ 2014
Felipe, come back 67' 2009
Ramiro en Viena (ORF Shorts on Screen, special mention) 10' 2002
An intense epoch of internal war in Peru spanned my childhood and youth. The terrorist violence of the Maoists of the Shining Path was replicated by the brutal military repression. In their crossfire stood tens of thousands of indigenous peasants, the most forgotten and marginalized ones in the country. People that our racism had already faded out before the war.
The trauma left in the Peruvian population for two decades (1980–2000) led many to identify now the faintest socialist impulse as a veiled communist or terrorist threat. For my generation ‚revolution’ is an ambiguous word. My generation is trying to process what happened.
After my extensive research in diverse visual archives in Peru, which depict Hugo Blanco in a sensationalist way and at the same time do not record the indigenous fights as part of the official history, I understood that my documentary film should show what is happening with the memory of the Peruvian Indigenous and Peasant struggles: it is fading out.
The Agrarian Reform, the biggest social catalyst of modern Peru is, for instance, only recounted beginning with the official law created in 1969 during the military government. But Indigenous fights are still labeled as subversive acts. Indigenous peoples are, century after century, erroneously interpreted as suspects and aggressors or in a passive political role or as victims. Indigenous people are still "the other", the field of projection of the countries’ own fears. My film tries to approach the perspective of the Indigenous peasant movement.
Probably my biggest challenge was not to give up telling a counter-history - “bursting history against its grain” (W. Benjamin, 1995), - despite the expectation and the advice of telling the traditional hero-story about such a charismatic leader. My character himself still works in deconstructing the imagery of messianic guerrilla fighters and advocates for self-government by the people. He says there is no need for leaders. He seeks to put in the light the past and the present epic of Indian people, who were once overshadowed by him and by the light of the revolutionary imagery not just in Peru but also in the World. As for me, making a film rather ‚in the spirit‘ than ‘about’ Hugo Blanco, means to activate the memory of those forgotten collective indigenous fights. I think it is necessary all over the planet to re-take knowledge of those facts facing the fact that in Latin America rural social fighters and nature guardians are being murdered and are easily criminalized relating them to communist threats.
I work with subliminal sound and images subtly touching national taboos. I’m afraid that my country won’t find its path to the so-much-longed-for reconciliation and it won’t heal the deep wounds of our historical memory until we don’t dare to cross the traumatic waters and shadows seeded in our collective unconsciousness.