The South (1988) - full transcript

The movie starts while Floreal, the main protagonist, was being released from the prison when the military coup ended in 1983. He is estranged to his former life because of his last few years in prison and especially discovering his wife has cheated on him soured their relation. He is not sure if he wants to go back to his old life and family. Wandering through the night his old friend "El-Negro" appears in the dark. He announces that he was assassinated during the military coup and he is a dead man now. But he has a special mission this night and he is back for this special occasion: To help Floreal catch up fast and face with his life and his time in prison. El-Negro helps him to watch through the important events happened in his absence. He confronts some people of importance to him as he wanders around through the night while his wife is waiting for him anxiously thinking he might never come back. During the long night El-Negro helps him to get past with his anger, makes him to understand the difficulties in such a controversial time and how military coup crushes people's lives and even killing a some of them relentlessly. Finally during the dawn, El-Negro announces that he is ready to go on with his life now and he must be back. Floreal figures that he must be strong and continue his life where he left off like his coup stricken country.

The South...

thick walls,
and then the South...

the light in a grocery store.

You'll never see me
as you once saw me,

leaning on the storefront,
waiting for you.

I'll never again
light up with stars,

our peaceful walks in the night.

Those streets,
and the moons of the suburbs,

and my love, at your window...

that's all dead,

I know....


One night,

in a southern part of the city,

my friends told me about their life
during the years I'd been away,

and someone said:

"Ademar Martinez is looking for you."

El Negro? That's impossible...

he has been dead for years.

I had met him
at the end of the sixties,

and I remembered so well

how full of hope he had been.

He used to say to me:

"The South is the future...

it's what will happen."

And it was true.

El Negro, my friend long dead,

was there...

in the dark street.

So you're making
a movie about love?

- What?
- I know it.

What gave you that idea?

Come on! You know that

our life stories
have always been love stories.

Come, join me...

I'll tell you a story
about a dear friend.

Maybe there are better stories,
but this one is like an old mother:

She loves us
and she pisses us off!


- Getting out?
- I just found out.

- Goodbye Birdie!
- So long Nero!

Bye, my brother.

His name was Floreal,

and he had spent 5 years in prison...

partly my fault...

dreaming of going home.

The story I'm telling you
is about his return,

and the night
he had longed for the most

and dreaded the most.


Is he going away?

That's impossible...



-Who is it?

Floreal Echegoyen.

- I don't know you.
- Is Don Goyo there?

No... he sold out long ago.

Hello, old boy!

How are you, Amado?

What would you expect?

Absences fill the neighborhood.

Our table of dreams is gone.

How much we have learned!

How much!

After that business with Emilio,

we sort of drifted apart.

Your father, with his rheumatism...

and Rasatti, in his misery...

didn't come any more.


Blondi? Are you asleep?

How could they have let him out,

since I was there until 11 o'clock?

Just my luck!

Rosi, what's wrong?

Floreal is out.
He knocked on the window.

Where is he?

He will be here soon.

Just look at me!

My little Fideo is awake.

Come, let me gobble you up.

They released Papa, my love!

- I want to sleep in your bed.
- Yes, tomorrow, tomorrow!

Aren't you happy?

Your little thighs...

your little buttocks...

I could just eat you up.

I love you so much...
My darling son!

Who will remember us, Floreal?

Who's that?

El Negro!

Yes! The "reappeared",

so that no one forgets me!

- But who are you?
- The deceased!


Don't be afraid.
It's me! The deceased.

I had such a desire
to live! To return!

To my streets, my neighborhood...

Run along, Ramoncito,
I'll see you at 6:00.

When I think what
I've missed during all these years!

- Why did you come back?
- To have fun!

Being dead is so boring!
Nothing happens.

- Are you joking?
- No! I owe you something.

I'll come with you...
it won't be easy, going back.

Not easy!

You learn so much once
you're dead! No more secrets.

It all happens
before your eyes, you hear

and see everything,
you know everything.

Intrigues, cunning, scheming,
cuckolding, the whole works!

My... your... Rosi...

What are you saying?

Now don't get mad... I'm dead!

Don't get upset!
Don't think the worst right off.

What asshole will believe you?

The deceased!

- El Negro has been dead for 5 years!
- Stop! Wait, you're right! It's true.

Who would believe
a dead person, huh, Birdie?


Come! This is where it happened!
There I am!

There he is!
Watch out, he is going away!

You remember El Tordo?

Who, the cop
from the meat-packing plant?

The security cop.

Stop it, stop it!

Shut up, El Tordo, or I'll kill you!

What are you doing?

It's the distributor, isn't it?

You want some help?

Go ahead...

Don't start it!

I went to work like a sucker,

and what do I discover?

They're taking everything!

Of course!
Get to work! I'm no fool!

The TV too?

It belongs to my mother!

We came in this freezing weather!

Get to work!

Tordo, don't do this to me!

Quit the whining! Get it started.

Get it started!

And what do I get from it?


Get it running.

Turning over nicely, isn't it?

Fine, and now get out of here!

Fuck off!

How's it possible?

I thought I was smart, and this
absolute imbecile takes a shot at me.

My, oh my! My neighborhood!

It's not what it used to be.

How it's changed since our days.

Fear gets to you.

A pass, Birdie!


to tease him,
we'd call him little bird,

because he could really fly.

We practically grew up together, between

street corners
and the meat-packing plant.

We had all kinds in our gang:

From Peregrino, born in the North,

to a French guy, sort of strange
and he had a limp as well...

Roberto, who was
a cold-storage technician.

Want to know something?

Floreal and I were never close friends.

Maybe because I was much older
and a dyed-in-the-wool unionist.

He never got involved in anything.

What irony!

You know me well...

I've always cherished friendship,

and didn't feel his
until after I died.

What a shame!

You weren't there any more.
It was after the coup.

There were raids in every factory.

Reports were pouring in:

Two bodies on the shore,

others blown to pieces...

thousands disappeared,

and no one knew how or where.

When they heard of my death,

they went on strike despite their fear.

That's when Floreal surprised me.

Enough! We're on strike!

Since then we've been united,
until this day...

in friendship

and in hardship.

Floreal... come!


Drive off, they'll kill us!

And if we demonstrate?
They will call in security.

If you start work again, they will
abduct you. If not, you lose your job.

What'll we do
with these brutes, Don Emilio?

I don't know. Ask the Colonel.

I was a Colonel.

In 1966 I opposed the coup
and I was dismissed.

Emilio and I spent our lives

training technicians, uniting
intellectuals for a new project.

And in 1976 they came
with trucks to cart off everyone.

The General summoned me and said:

"Colonel, don't you know
you're surrounded by Marxists?"

To him we're all Marxists!

I answered: "I know nothing,
and it doesn't interest me."

They're competent Argentinians.

If you take them away,
take me with them.

And they took me away.

So all the more reason
to take the workers.

Excuse me, but what should Floreal do?

Be careful, play it safe,

leave town for a few days.

Go away?
And where would I go?

Don't worry.
You come with me.

The Colonel's a character.

Where'd you find him?

Don Anibal Rassati,

Colonel and engineer,

my best friend since the forties.

At that time we had other ideas,
another army,

we were thinking of
economic independence,

and not the persecution of citizens.

Rassati... how often we argued!

We came from different
political horizons

and without renouncing our ideals,

we worked for the good of the country.

We worked together on PRONASUR,
the National South Project,

a long-term transformation plan.

Some day it will come true.

But without us, of course.

When a government ignores its
people's desires,

with or without a dictatorship,
it ends up stifling those desires.

Where are we?

In the old National Station,

in the melancholy street.

The "holidays" I spent here!

You've had to hide too?

Me, and many others.

When a raid threatened,
or the security police.

Here are my files.

50 years' work, in hiding.

What does it amount to?

Research for the Project South,

evidence, documents...

that I gathered since the thirties...

A history of plundering.

Just imagine,
if we could recuperate

everything the North
has taken from our continent

we could rebuild South America.

What a story!

Right here we conversed
with Scalabrini Ortiz, Dellepiane,

Jauretche, who once came with Borges,

and so many others.

That's when our
"Table of Dreams" was born,

"The Utopia of Free Men of the South".

My melancholy street...

"It rained and rained

on my heart.


in the shadows of your room,

your footsteps return."

Are you still there?

Yes, I couldn't get away yet.

And that siren?

No idea.

- Anyone see you?
- No, I was running.

I don't want anyone to see you here...
it's dangerous.

- I know...
- When are you leaving?



Come on,
don't just stand there...

I told this friend of mine
he could stay here.

No problem for me, but for him...

No problem at all.

Do you need anything?

No, I even have my ticket.

Be careful... they're checking people.

I know, don't worry.

I'm leaving before dark,
my headlights aren't working.

Leaving the country?

You going away?

To the South.

Where to?

I don't know.

And your ticket?

I don't have one.

No money.
I don't know what to do.

Why lie to the old man?

That's my business!

Mind if I stay?


What's your name?

What's your name?

Maria, my name is Maria.

Related to Emilio?

Where are you from?

From Rosario.

Have a boyfriend?

I had one.


Are you cross-examining?

You are like my father.


Can I help you?

I want to leave...


Maybe your name was just Maria...

I don't know if you were
the echo of an old song.

All I know
is that one night you were mine...

in a dismal setting,
faint with love...


all mine, so far away...

if you came back some day

through the streets of our goodbye...


- What is it?
- A tank.

An urban tank, post-modern.

They left it
in the middle of the street?

It was left here.
Was going by one night

broke down,
got stuck, and here it stayed.

- They left it here?
- Yes.

It was making strange noises,
like an owl.

A hell of a noise.
The neighbors came out...

Notification No. 1:

Residents, the enemy is everywhere.

Trust no one.
Don't expose your family.

Inform your tank-friend
of anything suspicious.

Protecting is caring.

Yes, it's a tank.

Electronic. An urban tank.

If it's here,
there must be a reason...

You're just gonna leave it here?

There's nothing we can do about it.

And people learned to live with it.

From time to time a blinker went on.

We Argentinians are upright and humane.

Please move on.

Stupid good-for-nothings!

Is Rosi here? Call her.

What's wrong?

- They've taken Floreal.
- Taken?

Yes, they arrested him.

Please! Please call her, quick!

- They've arrested Floreal.
- What?


They threw him in a car.

That's impossible, he was with Emilio.

But the neighbors saw it happen
and informed me.

I don't understand
why he didn't wait.

Neither do I.

Did Floreal ever speak of the

Or of syndicates or politics?

What can we do!
We're going crazy!

What'll I do? Amilcar?

Believe me, Amado,
I'm talking as a friend.

We can't do anything.

Speak louder, please.

Yes... but where? Where?

I can't hear you...

It's Floreal's wages.

- Thank you.
- From his fellow workers.

I can't sleep, Rosi.

What can we do for Floreal?

If your mother were still alive!

He really wasn't involved in politics?

No, Auntie! Nothing political.
I've told you a thousand times!

I've lodged several appeals,

some judge must be willing to see us.

Rosi, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
won't abandon you.

Here at the morgue
we get 3 or 4 a day.

You want to take a look...
or are the shoes enough?

If you've already lodged appeals
I can send a telegram...

but I know from experience
that the answer will be negative.

- Could he have left the country?
- It's unlikely.

Don't give up. Don't listen to anyone.
Don't give up looking.

We know that they're all alive.

He didn't go off
with another woman?

Isn't it risky to come here?

Are you getting paranoid?

Listen, Rosi,
you come just any old time,

or without notice you don't show up!

It's inexcusable.

You're right, but I'm so upset
by what's happened to me.

Come, Rosi.

The only one
who can help us is the Colonel.

I know his wife. They're good people.

Here's the letter.

Have faith. It'll work out.

I can't relax and I can't sleep!

I can only keep looking
until I find him.

Otherwise I'll go crazy,
it's as if I'd killed him!

Don't despair.

The scares I had with Emilio!


We still get threats!

You know what's worst?
We're getting used to it!

Why have you stayed here?

Where can we go at our age?

We're too old to play hide-and-seek.

I won't leave this house
until they carry me out dead.

I'm written off, aren't I?

That we are!

If we'd stood up to them,
there wouldn't be any more putschists.

- You don't think so?
- Shit!

We were too permissive.

What will you drink?
Anisette or gin?

Nothing for me, asshole!

Francisco, our parrot.

Foul-mouthed like Emilio!

I shouldn't go there?
I have to. So don't come with me.

Stand back, I said!

I brought a letter for the Colonel
from Father Esteban.

The Colonel's already left.

I'm desperate. My husband has
disappeared. The Colonel can help me.

Go to the police station,
this is a barracks!

I've already been there!
I've been looking for him for a month.


I can't!

I insist!

Not before he's seen me.


Let her go!
She's looking for her husband!

You bastard! Let her go! Let her go!

Lucky they didn't break the other one.

Floreal Echegoyen, is that your husband?

What? ...Yes...

18 subversives have been
transferred to the prison in Patagonia.

Carlos Baigorria,

Esteban Julio,

Floreal Echegoyen,

Marcelo Ramos,

Julio Varela,

Claudio Medina,

Alejandro Avalos...

He's alive?

Didn't you hear me?

It's in the report.

He is alive!

He is alive!

Lower your head, dammit!

I'll get you to lower it!

Loathsome night, chilling night,

on the wind come strange lamentations!

What a well of gloom is the night!

And I walk among the shadows,
very slowly...

while the drizzling rain

drives needles into my heart.

That's how it is, Floreal!

Coming back is tough!


El Tordo!

Anything wrong?

Why look at me like that?

What do you want from me?

Not me.
have always been your pal.

Haven't I?

Give me an answer!

But I had orders, man.

You've got to understand.

The headlights!



You're back at last!

Still got this truck?

Still got it. This one,

and another for other things.

One foot here, the other
in Patagonia, that's just life.


We've got to celebrate!

I'm so happy!

And Maria? Tell me about Maria.

Never seen her again. She got
out just before reaching Patagonia.

Sadder than a guitar without strings.

When you brought her to me, I thought...

If you cry like that,
you'll shrivel up.

I'm sorry...

those are tears of joy.

Believe me,

I feel as if I am living again.

They grabbed us coming
out of the university.

It was a year ago.

I'd been out just a month.

My father arranged it.

At home

they were so scared,

they had burned everything.

My books, my notebooks, everything.

Home was a new prison.

So I left... for the South...

to find a place
where life and desire

were still possible.

You see, Rosi,

hope is the last thing we lose.

My only choice was exile in Patagonia.

You can't imagine!

Working without papers,

illegal work, shitty jobs...

What despair!

But tough bugs like me never die.

And that's where I met Esperanza.

- Who?
- Esperanza, my new companion.

She's beautiful!

The most important thing
in love, is desire.

Turn around.

Spread your legs.


Bend over.

Like my looks?

You look great.

I love you.

Me too.

I'm really scared of transfers.

You never know if it means
another prison or death.

I never thought I could
be so long without you.

I'm counting the days...

the hours until you return.

I love you, Rosi.

I love you more than anything.

Love is a secret,

and you are mine.

I miss you.

I'm hungry for you.

Same here.

Anibal, who can we see for help?

General Molinari?

They sent him to the South.

And Colonel Martinez?

He was discharged.

There's no one left.

Yes there is... there's one.



You know who, Anibal.


Who, my nephew?

Exactly! Let's not get upset.

But Arturo is at PRONASUR
with General Moritan.

- I know that.
- And he'll refuse to see us.

Don't exaggerate.
He's always been correct with me.

But not with me.

I'll remind him
that I am his uncle

and his superior.

You were.

All right. I'll go there alone.

But how will you get into the Ministry?

The last time they threw us out.

And PRONASUR is now a barracks.

I know, but we'll be
talking to your nephew.

About a prisoner?
That's absurd!

I promised Rosi I would do it.

Major Rasatti can't see you.

Please insist.

I knew it.

Excuse me, Colonel, this is a bad day.

They are in the midst of cleaning.

Office 325. Go on, please.

What chaos!

They are still working on our project.

What are they trying to find?

What a pleasure after such a long time!

Don't you think it's indiscreet
to come and see me here?

For you and for me?

You're compromising my career!

Everything's under surveillance here.

Don't exaggerate.

I'm sorry, but I am an officer
and only doing my duty.

I can't do anything for you.

It's none of my business.

Then your superior's business?

That's your idea.

Excuse me, Emilio.

Moritan can pull strings.

Can't you?

I can't do a thing in this case.

I helped you when I was able to do so.


Yes, General.


General Moritan wants to see you.

Just what did you do for me?

More than you think.

Why? Did they plan to shoot me?
Or drown me?

Don't be ungrateful.

And what about you!

You owe me your career.

You owe us your life!

Do I have to thank you for that?

Moritan stopped Benavide in time...

I know... Secret police!

The general staff...

The military Camarilla...

You were on file as an ideologue.


That's nonsense.

I attacked the corrupt faction
that uses the army to get rich.

Watch what you say. You're talking
to a Major, not to your nephew!


Don't shout! That's enough.

I came to ask about releasing
a friend and I don't get anywhere!

What the hell am I doing here?

They're on the list!

"Project South".

"Social Democracy and Participation..."

On the list!

"The South
and Latin American Integration..."

On the list!

"The Salvat Encyclopedia".


"The Little Prince" by Saint-Exup?ry...


"The Politics of Great Britain",
"Yrigoyen and Peron" by Ortiz...

"The Argentine Model"
and "The Hour of the People"...


"The Latin-American Bible"...


"The History of Sexuality" by Foucault.


Paolo Freire...

Antonio Gramsci...

- Sartre...
- Peronists!



Here are some films.

Darcy Ribeiro...


"Selected Works" of Freud

On the list!

Here it looks like..."cunt"!

"The Hour of the Cunt"!!

But that's pornographic!


"Modern Mathematics
and the Education of the Child"...

On the list!

Fate had it that we should meet
in the midst of this enormous,

preposterous mess of papers.

Papers and ideas,
both clearly subversive,

that must be torn out at the roots
throughout the country.

You confused public opinion with
socialist and demagogic ideas,

which you wanted to impose
by popular vote.

One thing intrigues me.

How did you intend
to carry out your Project South?

With what resources?

With the people.

The people?
But what's the secret? The key?


- What?
- Popular desire.

What's he saying?

Never give up.
Remain obstinate in this desire.

What are you talking about?

The age-old yearning...

the dream of dreams...

On the list!

But what's he talking about?

Listen, General.

If you don't know what the South is,

then you're from the North.

He's making fun of us.

You're dismissed.

On the list!

"The Formation
of the National Conscience"

by Arrequi...


"Abdalon, the Exterminator".


"The Eternaut" by Oesterheld...


Watch out!

They're disinfecting!

The monster attacks!

Walk away, fast!


She was sweeter than water...

than the sweetest water...

She was fresher than the river...

blossoming orange tree.

And on that hot and forlorn

summer street,

she left a piece of her life

and went off.

Know first how to suffer
and then love...

and then leave

and walk free of thoughts...

the scent of orange blossoms.

What have my hands done to her?

What have they done,

to have left her heart

in so much pain?

He who fights never dies.

How they love it!

He drives them crazy.

No, it's useless.

I'm the echo of the man I was.

A superstition.

But you know
all the tricks now, Negro.

Alas! No secrets for me. Not one
of them can seduce me. You know why?

Cause I'm dead as a doornail!

Negro, you tough cookie!

If you only knew what I learned
about love through my failures!

I thought no one could replace me.

The last time it was with Virginia!

Want to hear about it?
Let me tell you.

Come on, you guys...

make yourselves comfortable.

Good evening, Madam.

I was crazy about Virginia.
She learned it all from me.

However, one day
I discover she has a lover.

Who is it?

- Who has been here?
- Are you crazy! In my bed?

The Goldfinch!

That kid? Don't make me laugh!

Quit fooling or I'll bash your head in!

Hit me if you want to,

but I did it for you, honest!

Gimme the truth!

My love, waiting alone for you
at night, I was scared to death

and consumed with jealousy.

Aching to make love to you.
The man of my life.

You brought me pastries.
You taught me everything.

The Goldfinch means nothing to me.
He just kept me company.

I believed her.

I had neglected her so much,
I forgave her.

Love is kind-hearted!

Yes, but that's not the end of it.

After death, I saw her like on TV,

in bed with the Goldfinch.

And how she relished it!
Sure, that kid was better than me.

How humiliating!

Where are you going?

I've had enough!


Wait! Where are you going?
Let me explain!

No need to! You think I'm a fool?

I know everything. With Rosi it's

I don't give a damn!
I don't want to know!

And keep off our backs!

Don't be silly! Just listen to me!

Love is a daily task.

You must keep reinventing it!

You fool!

You're lying!

You're still lying.

Floreal is not coming.

He's still angry with me.

I'm scared.

Of his reproaches.

Of his resentment.

Scared I won't still
find him attractive.

How we've both changed
during these years!

How can we get along together?

I managed on my own.

To pull us all through, him and Fideo.

And he always thought it wasn't much.



Can you hear me? And Fideo?

He's fine!

Why didn't he come?

I couldn't bring him.

I want to see him.

My sweater?

I forgot it.

I've told you a thousand times!

It's freezing here!

I know, I'm sorry.

Yes! Flaco!


Yes, my love! I can see you!

- I love you, darling!
- Same here!

How are you?

Everything's fine, Flaco, and you?

- The job?
- As usual.

And the lawyer?

Did you talk to him?


Don't worry, I'll explain later.

And Emilio?

I went by twice.

I left a message with Mecha.

But keep at it, I'm rotting in here!

Cut it out. What's wrong?

What's the matter?

You forget things,
have nothing to tell me.

That's not true, I tell you what I can.

Don't treat me like a child!

"What you can"!

The truth, huh?

But what shall I tell you? What?
Things to really discourage you?

What do you mean?

What? You want to know
that I'm doing badly?

That I'm completely broke? That I
don't even have bus fare for Fideo?

- Ask Mecha.
- I'm asking nobody.

And your old man?
Can't he help you?

Papa is doing whatever he can!

If Rosi tells you everything,
you crack up.

So she will just lie to you.

Or she will just go away someday.

It's no use, Floreal.

You want the truth,
but you can't take it.

What do you know about it?

Would you take it if Rosi had a guy?

I would kill her!

How many times
did you cheat on her?

How do I know?

Plenty of times.

And what about her?

You see! What you need
is a chick always at your disposal.

One who'll put up with anything!

Shut up!
And you have never been unfaithful?

Yes, but we compromise,

we tell each other everything.

That keeps us together.

It's our strength as a couple.

You like other guys screwing her?

You're pigheaded!

Bandoneon, you break my heart.

Your muted malediction

and your tears of rum drag me

to the lowest depths
down in the mud.

I know, say nothing.

You're right...
life is an absurd wound.

And all of it, all of it so fleeting...

that my words seem
nothing more than a drunken


But what confession do you mean?

You've lied to me all your life. Always!

But Cora... I love you!

You sham!

I saw you pawing at her.

It's always the same.
I swear...

I swear that it's finished,
because I'm going away!

Tell me of your heartbreak...

your failure.

Can't you see how I've been hurt?

Just tell me simply of
that absent love...

hidden in the folds of oblivion.

Yeah laugh, just laugh...

me too, I can laugh. Look!

And you'll give me back everything!


But Cora, I love you, you slut.

Now you tell me!

I know this will cause me pain...

I know it will hurt you

when I weep my drunken sermon.

But it's the same old love

that's trembling, bandoneon...

and seeking in a drink

the intoxication that will
finally end the show

by drawing
the curtain over my heart.

Don't come tapping
at my window, never again!

Never again!

Close the window...

The sun drags along

its slow, sleepy procession.

Can't you see
I am from a land

that's always sunk
in the gray oblivion

of a drunken haze?

I miss the tea I was always served
when I came home drunk.

This girl has never
fixed anything for me.

I've had enough. I'm leaving her.

You've said at least 100 times
you were leaving Cora.

This time it's different.

It's final.
She drives me crazy about money.

It's not different, it's the same.

It's what I've always heard.

I'm going to bed. Good night.

My investments... everything.

Good night, Rosi.

How cozy it is here!

- You are leaving, Papa?
- Yes, my darling.

I'm going. It's late.

You look tired.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

What's the matter?

I don't have a cent!

You should've said so...

You don't mind?

Get away from that woman.

You are an adult.

What can he find in Cora...

after loving Mama so much...?


- I am here.
- I've made it with Marcelo.

- Who?
- Marcelo, the singer.

He will sing at the club
and then wait for me.

You know what he said?
That I am a strawberry with cream.

I wonder why.

He wants to eat it.

You fool!
Always the same! He is great!

You have to meet him. Come along.

You're crazy.

No! And the club is having
a farewell party for Roberto.

He is going back to France.
He wants you to come.

I don't feel like it.

What a bore! Everyone's going.

I'm not.

I don't have anything to wear,

and who would take care of Fideo?

You sound like an old hag.

- What would I do there?
- Dance!

Look at me!

That's just it. Look at you.
You look like forty.

Aren't you going to bed?
Is your drawing finished?

Marcelo wants me
to teach him the tango.

Come, dance with me!


Marcelo and his Ravioli!

I came for just a year,

looking for money and adventure...

and I stayed,
because I found friends.

Then a lot of my friends left

and I felt lonely.

Well, not alone, but in exile.

It's time that I leave,
but I'll be back.

The South...

thick walls, and then

the South...

the light in a grocery store.

You'll never see me
as you once saw me,

leaning on the storefront,
waiting for you.

I'll never again
light up with stars,

our peaceful walks in the night.

Those streets,
and the moons of the suburbs,

and my love, at your window...

that's all dead! I know....

In my own country
they looked at me with pity.

I was "poor Robert".

Then one day I said:

"I'm going to Argentina".

"Going where?"
"To the end of the world".

No one believed me

until the day I left.

I'm sorry you'll be leaving.


We came to love you, Corsican.

I love you too.

And I'd like to say something
I've never told you.

May I, now that I'm going away?

- May I?
- Yes!

For me, always...

you were always Floreal's wife.

But you've no idea

what you've given me,
how I have dreamt of you,

what your gentle eyes have given me.

Everything about you.
You have no idea how much I love you!

Roberto finds me attractive!

All this time!

I'm going to have my hair cut.

How can I like him?
I'm acting like a child!

I have asked him to dinner.

How can I tell him not to come?

Sailors say

you can feel Corsica in the air

before you can see it.

The most beautiful

and the nearest of far-away lands.

But I return empty-handed...

as if to a tyrannical,
demanding mother.

And you...

how about you?

You are looking good.

Strong, at ease, as always.

But I'm not, Roberto.

I have no strength left.

I don't know how all this will end.

I don't know... I just don't know...

Floreal wrote me a nice letter.

He asked me "if hope exists".

Of course we've known hope!
Those were other times.

Sure, we were feeling great,
had the strength of desire...

And now, look...
Even desire is forbidden!

What is desire to you?

Desire is what motivates us.

It's what's purest
and most personal.

What could be greater
than the desire to be one's self?

To accomplish things? To know?

The desire to give? To love?

Sometimes doing what we want

brings guilt.

Guilt? Did you say guilt?

Guilty of what?

Of doing what you desire?

To hell with asking permission!

We must allow ourselves to love.


Every love helps us to thrive
and flourish, even if we suffer.

What are you doing here?

I was afraid you had left.

You cut your hair.

Do you like it?

What can we do?

I don't know.

I love you.

You've changed.

Maybe my hair.
You don't like it?

No, I don't like it.
But it's not that. You're...

how shall I put it...

more distant.

No... not at all.


During all this time

you haven't gone out with anyone?

I told you no!

You are hiding something.

- No, I already told you.
- Who were you with at the club?

I already told you, with Roberto.

Listen, Floreal,
you can't be jealous of Roberto!

I don't know.

Do you play football?

It's forbidden.

Do you watch TV?

It's forbidden.

What do you do?

Whatever I'm told to.

If you don't like it, do they hit you?

Do they punish you?


Like at school.

Except that you also have to sleep here.

You think I can stand it?
I'm rotting in here!

I can't take it any more!
I just can't.

I can't take it any more!

I don't want to come any more, Flaco.

And Mama?

- She has a cold.
- She's fine.

She's fine...

And... Roberto?

He visits us often.

He taught me to ride his motorcycle.

Rosi... stop!

You're lying!
You don't dare tell me the truth!

If I weren't penned up in here
I would kill you both!

I never expected this of you!
Don't ever again take me for an idiot!

Not you.


The prisoner doesn't want to see you.

I'm his wife.

It's his request.
Please keep moving.

- Why? She's his wife!
- Madam, stay out of this.

Can you tell us
if he's being punished?

How can she know
if he's being punished?

- You keep out of this.
- How friendly!

Shut up.

Why should I shut up?

I can't believe it! Why?
They want to make me also shut up!

I won't! Every time the prisoners
get beat up, this is the story we get.

I won't be quiet!
We've had enough!

What's going on?

Be quiet or I'll call the guards.
Then no one goes in!

Quiet! Enough now!

Be still, you can go in.
Stand in line.

Okay, we can go in now.

Floreal will never forgive me.

I know him.

If he came home,
he'd go on being jealous,

full of resentment.

As if I'd done it against him

and not for my sake.

What's the use
of so much sacrifice...

so much pain...

for so little?


To work, you wretches!

Just look at the wealthy!

Yacumin, they still
don't call you a salami?

Your mother's sausage,
you fucking queer!

The Birdie!

We've been waiting for you
to work at the meat-packing.

We'll celebrate. If he knew,

the boss would land on his ass!

Just think, a ghost and a prisoner.

- Still there, that fucker?
- Yeah, that's the way it is.

Any jobs?

Yes. Washing tripe.

Just asking, been away five years...

No jobs in quite a while.

So what can I do?

Well... wait.

Or gather junk with us.

Aren't 5 years enough waiting?

- You kidding?
- He's sulking.

Shut up, kid!

He's mad.

Not one of you
came to see me in 5 years.

Which one of you bothered about us?

Cut the crap, Floreal!

You know what we've been through?

No, I don't.

No, you don't.
You want me to tell you?

Forget it, you never got involved.

In the meat industry alone,

20, 30,000 laid off.

No jobs. They even tore down the
national meat-packing plant.

Ask your old man.

Yacumin! Better ask...
Big Business!

And who will settle the score
with these people?

We broke our backs,

we were the victims,
the dead of all those years...

and we should still make sacrifices?

For what? To get where we were 20, 30,

40 years ago? Fuck off!

What do the people say?

- And the leaders?
- You're asking me!

I gave my life to the trade union,
and in spite of my feeling of success,

I misunderstood the silence!

After my death
I saw it all like a circus.

The people weren't defeated.

They held on to the little they had.

You learn by defeat.

We were too sectarian.

Dying is tiring.

So many things died
during those years,

including me!

Your old man was right.

One must resist!

Stand united!

The "Table of Dreams" lives on!

All my bitterness is because of you.

My comrades say:

What's wrong with this kid?

We invited him to union meetings
and he didn't come.

Since the strike of 59

nothing has hurt me more...

- I swear it.
- Stop, Papa!

How many times do I have to hear it?
I don't go? Cause it's depressing.

I remember the life we had!

How we picked you up
at the police station!

How we had no money!
How Mama always complained!

That's why I don't go there!

You're unfair.

- Yes, unfair.
- Why?

It's true, I was always scolding.

Listen... your father
was offered a lot of money,

but they could never buy him.

And if we had to do it again,
I'd tell him: Say no!

Don't please them by giving in.

Because that's all we have left.
Saying no.

It's our pride.

Mi-mi-longa of the stutterer

who always says no.

I'm poor, but I won't sell out, and

no one's going to run me down.

Ev... Ev... Everyone
is with us...

in this occ... occupation...

against these di... dismissals...

and for the defence
of the na... national heritage.

Milonga not to forget...

that when the stutterer stops,

it means he's going to fight.

The cows that escaped from
their fences and their masters

are still running
through the streets

and wandering round
as in a dream.

How could you keep going, Papa?

Where did you find the strength?

Bunch of old fools!

And you, Emilio,
you sure did it right!

What's that racket?

- Is it them?
- Yes. Go in your room!

Don't yell! I'm not deaf.

Don't be so stubborn, Adela.

Go in your room!

Don't you realize
they could take you away?

- Leave me alone.
- Alone?

What would I do alone?
Are you crazy?

You would leave me alone
after 40 years together?

Don't drive me crazy.
Not right now! Go!

What are you thinking of!

Do as you want.

Assassins! Assholes!


Son of a bitch!

Freedom! Freedom!

The dictatorship will end...

come, come dance with me...

You'll find a friend
in this march of resistance.

The dictatorship's ending...

Do you like them?

Did I frighten you?

She's living with a guy!

She cheated on me!

No, Flaco.

Don't be so tough on her.

Don't say she's cheated on you.

What woman can stand it being alone

for so many years?

Who knows what it's like...

More fragile than crystal

was my love...

for you.

Crystal your heart...

your gaze...

your smile...

I love him.

I can't help it.

Despite my fear and my doubts.

He has always been a part of me.

I have to face it.
He doesn't love me like before.

I survived thanks to Roberto.

I'm bound to miss him.

I never would have thought it so natural
for me to love and desire two men.

Don't look for answers, Rosi.

Nothing is simpler
and stranger than love.

I'm leaving.

The last thing
that kept me here was you.

But you were never entirely mine.

You are the loveliest memory
I'm taking with me.

I love you...


I'm leaving.

I'm leaving for good!

Peregrino's right.
We live in a river of shit!

What will you do
with all that resentment?

Five years!

Five years! What for?
To come back here

and shovel garbage and shit?

If we don't do it,
who will?

Who'll fight for what's yours?

Who'll defend what
you dream of, if you don't!

Just look at you.

You're a scarecrow.
Look at your face.

Don't you see? You look like a tramp.

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

- Come on, tell me everything.
- We have told it all.

- That's all, Floreal.
- Tell me about Rosi.

She never left you.

It's you she wants.

- And...
- What?

And the Corsican?

The poor guy.
He was afraid of you.

He admired you.

You know what
he said one evening?

I thought I was free...

but I'm leaving

everything I have loved.

But you, Floreal, even in prison

you were free to keep everything.

My dear, dear friend!

What's wrong?

I want to forget.

You can't live, knowing it all.

Nothing more interests me.

I want nothing.
I desire nothing.

I know everything.

I'm at the end...

like this film.

I'm dead.

Come on, Negro!

Wait, Ramoncito.

And Fideo? Is he well?

Go find him.

You have a wife, a son,

and your life ahead of you and you're
wasting your time here like a fool!

Go on, Floreal, get going!

My brother...

Thank you!

That's how
we said farewell that night.

He returned to life,

I returned to death.

Since then, I am an absence...

a recollection...

condemned to being your memory.

The Birdie is back!

Floreal has come back!

This was my neighborhood.

It was.

It was.

It was.

But I don't know
if that's how it was.

Someone said to me one day...

that I had left it.


But when?

I'm always returning!

I return to the South...

as one always returns to love.

I return to you...

with my desire and my fears.

I carry the South

like fate in my heart...