Esquirlas (2020) - full transcript



Ok .You do it this way.

Look through the viewfinder

and press VTR.

Hold on, how did this work?



We're recording without battery,
because it run out of charge.

Once you stop pressing
it will stops recording.

Uh, no...

We'll press loop mode.

It's continuous this way.
There, continuous mode.

On this mode it shoots automatically.
No need to press anything.

Let's say you want to shoot that,

you place it there
and it records automatically.

When I was 10 years old
my dad bought an 8mm Sony camera.

He said, it was meant
to keep family memories.

It was the 90s in Rio Tercero.

There was one Hospital.

Five sports clubs.

the main square and its church.

One water tank.

One military factory and two chemical

Get down, Nati!

Get down, Nati!

Rio Tercero's population
was 40.000 people.

My home was 900 meters away from the

And 300 meters away
from the military factory.


My mom is a History teacher.

Dad was a doctor.

My sister Carolina was studying
to become a dentist.

Gabi was still in high school.

Nico and I wanted to become astronauts.

How many lives do you have left?

I am not sure. About 10.

But, don't worry!

- You have three lives left!
- Four.

Do you want to play?

Nevermind, you finish the game.

Let's jump in the water!

One, two and three!

We are streaming for channel 1082.

We are waiting for the great climber
Nicolas Garayalde.

He has been climbing for three nights
and four days.

800.000 kilometers high.

He's about to reach the top.

He's climbing the Aconcagua.

I'm Wonder the magician.

Nicolas the magician.

Now we are shooting him
from a wider angle.

Wherever you are, Cablin.

- Hi Cablin's friends!
- Hi Cablin's friends!

We are here playing and enjoying the

Yes, because they are almost over.

Why does your hair look like that?

I was told to leave the bathroom.

I had washed my hair with light shampoo.

Light shampoo! That's curious!
How awesome!

It's much easier and much faster.

It dries instantly.

It's light clothing.

It goes up.

And where is the sun, above or below?

I won't help you!

Look, this is the t-shirt
I wore on my sister's 15th birthday.

You looked so pretty!

Would you like some water?

Sure! Let's have some water and chill.

Watch out! It's light water!

Hey, have you heard the news
about Zulemita Menem?

Zulemita Menem enjoys Buenos Aires
nightlife surrounded by bodyguards.

Last Saturday, the 29th,
she lost her temper at 1:30 am

when a photographer and a news reporter
filmed her after leaving from a disco.

president's daughter...

...yelled "Nigger!".

Anti-racism campaigns are clearly
not her cup of tea!

Caro, look at me!

Watch! I love this music video!

This video is great!

There was only one TV at home.

We used to fight over what to watch.

My two elder sisters
wanted to watch MTV all the time.

My parents wanted to watch the news.

My brother Nicolas and I
preferred watching cartoons.

Carolina would always be on the phone.

She hardly ever talked to me.

I guess she realized she was my idol
and she would take advantage of it.

She would talk to my other sister, Gaby,
asking if she could borrow her clothes.

They used to hang out at night together
and I would stay at home sleeping.

This is the New Year's eve party
from 1994.

I used to like the smell of the city
in those days.

That was the last year
I was not afraid of sleeping alone.

Dad was happy.

We were all having a good time.

Everything has changed since then.

Look! How amazing!

The house is on fire.

Are there any doors open?

Let it go!

The wind direction has changed.
It's heading towards the trees.

Let's dance!

Look at the fire!

Calm down, everything is OK.


... a bomb that's about to explode.

Shoot it!

Let's help that lady.
Come on!

Stay calm! Go the other way!

Turn around! Turn around!

Get in! Get in! Get in!

Don't cry, honey.
Don't cry, we' re all alive.

Thanks God.

Let's get out of here.

Stay calm, ma'am.
Stay calm.

- I don't know where my husband is.
- Stay calm, ma'am. Stay calm.

They're going to steal
the few things that I own.

Don't worry about that, ma'am.
You are safe, that's what matters.

Watch out! There are bombs everywhere.

I need to call the factory
to ask where is my husband.

There are no working phones in the city,

Stay calm, ma'am.
We're all going through the same thing.

Is the baby injured?
Let's take her to the hospital.


Is there a safe place where I can stay?

We're heading to a safe place now.
Don't worry.

Can I go home?

No, don't worry.
Anything can happen any moment.

Are there explosions everywhere
in the city?

Half city has blown up!

No, but he is inside the factory.
Don't worry.

This happened in the powder magazines.

They're going to steal everything I own.

He'll be alright, ma'am.

The explosions are happening above us,
not on the streets.

That's why there is so much debris
falling from the sky.

The trees are keeping us alive.

Don't worry.

Fucking dog!

Watch out!

On November 3rd, 1995,
Rio Tercero military munitions factory

More than 20,000 projectiles
exploded above my hometown.

My brother and I were at school.

Someone drove us away
towards the outskirts.

From the side of the road,
I could only see the mushroom cloud.

I remember it was very hot.

The radio was announcing the names of the

A journalist announced that if a bomb
had landed on a chemical tank,

the disaster would have been even worse.

It looks as there has been an earthquake.

Carolina was studying in Cordoba

and traveled to Rio Tercero
to look for us.

When she arrived we were no longer there.

We couldn't find her.

So I wrote her name on my notebook to keep
her alive.

The next day, we went back to rescue her.

She had spent the night alone,
in the house.

Watch out, daddy.
A projectile could have fallen over there.

Look for your clothes
and Carolina's as well.

That day, mom asked me
to put away the camera for a bit

and grab two or three things
that I'd like to take with me.

Mom, I took them all out.

I took out all the fishes.

My brother wanted to take a projectile
with him.

But dad didn't let him.

- Do you want to take the TV?
- No.

Next week, at the latest,
I need to start working here.

The President Dr. Carlos Saúl Menem,

accompanied by his cabinet,

guarded by Gendarmerie and the Army.

It's a chaos,
we're broadcasting for Channel 2.

Dr. Menem, just a few words
for Rio Tercero's citizens.


Regarding what Pizarro expressed,
fellow reporter from Telefe Channel.

We are from Rio Tercero's TV channel,

we received some international calls
from Bandeirantes TV, Brazil,

disclosing similar facts to what
journalist Pizarro had expressed.

The Argentine government will make
every necessary effort to...

I think the Argentine presidency is here.

Both Cordoba's officials
and National officials are here.

The Governor and the President
are sharing the report they've received.

This has been an accident, not an attack.

The press has the responsibility
to spread these words

and not to question what we're stating.

Excuse me.

Because those who doubt
should have evidence.

Not just a phone call that could be made
by someone irresponsible.

So, what the Governor is saying...

The hypothesis of the attack
must be totally discarded.

This is fundamental.

That local and national news media

should rule out completely the idea
that this could have been an attack.

This has been an unfortunate accident
and should be understood that way.

Above all, the investigation
that will be carried out

and that will determine the elements

that caused the accident.

I can assure you
that this has not been an attack.

Mirta, can we get off?

Can we get off?

Hold on, there are more over there.



Look at the stove!


Ok. Let's go that way, Nati.

Which one is Mariela's house?



It's that way, mom!
Farther. I've already filmed it...

Is it on this block?

On the neighborhood,
a small Virgin Marie statue

was being passed on
together with a blue notebook

where families
would write messages to God.

According to my neighbor
the Virgin had protected us.

I'm going to film you from that spot
for two minutes.

My sister Carolina gave me a rosary.

Two minutes...

Two minutes.

Two minutes.

Two minutes. You are not recording...

Two minutes!!!

The great destruction of Rio Tercero
left the city upside down.

We were told to take photos and video.

We took photos and video.

So far we took photos but not video.

I honestly don't understand the purpose.

Natalia look!

The garage door has fucking blown away!

These cars have been destroyed...

A splinter must have fallen on this car.

Peace is what we felt
when the blasts ended.

At first, I was kind of excited

because we were not going to school
and we were on TV.

But dad was worried.

Good morning!

We are broacasting for Nueve Diario news.

We are sharing Rio Tercero's tragedy.

Follow me!

It's been 15 days since Rio Tercero
tragedy took place.

Houses are being repaired,
but resources are needed.

The government has not yet made
any funds available.

Will they?

This is Fatima church.

It's located close
to the Military Factory,

as well as General Savio School,

where we'll be heading soon.

The School is located over there,
behind the square.

Savio School's Principal...

In your opinion,
who is responsible for this tragedy?

I don't know who is responsible,
but I can say it was terrible,

It has been a terrible event.

I think many people
are responsible for this.

Where you at the school
he moment the explosions took place?

I was on Arenales street on my way to the

I burst into tears thinking the children
and teachers might have died.

Fortunately, nothing happened.

Thank God.


We are here
at Manuel Nicolas Savio School.

The building is empty.

Classes are restarting today.

The Principal is inspecting
the school cautiously.

She observes the chaos the school
and what the library have turned into.

Look at those desks,
they have been stacked there.

I want to go in. Let me shoot you, Nico!

Can I come in my classroom and video?

Before the explosions, we were banned
from going through these windows.

Record that!

We wake up every day wondering
what happened that friday.

I think we must come together
and find a resolution.

I don't think the solution
is building houses somewhere else.

We have to take into account
what is going to happen

with the entire industrial sector.

I'm her husband.

Do you work here?

I live here, in that house.
I'm a doctor.

I don't understand how they were allowed
to build here.

I'm going to answer that.
I have heard it on the news,

and one thing is

Here they are blaming....

Stay right there, doctor.

You are a doctor and you live here,
I would like you to explain

how were residences allowed to be built
200 meters away from a powder magazine.

What I've heard
from different press reports,

and government officials as well,

Is that the Military Factory
was built 3,000 meters away from the city,

assuming this would be enough to prevent
a disaster like the one we experienced.

But the truth is that the Military Factory
and the Military Neighborhood

were built simultaneously
in the same property.

It is true that nobody lived here 20 years

But, if we consider

that Factory employees and their families
live close to the factory

in a neighborhood where there are schools,
a church, a polyclinic, a club.

It is natural to assume that the Factory
is not a threat to people.

We must remove the powder magazine
from there,

the houses are not the problem.

We live under another threat:
the chemical plants.

Dad used to think that the air
was contaminated with explosives.

He used to say that our mouths were dry

because there was white phosphorous

even if we couldn't see it.

Do people have the power
to make their own decisions?

Why is there such a high accumulation
of economic power?

I mean, if one day the owner
of the chemical plants

decides to leave the city,

Rio Tercero would loose
its source of income.

This becomes a form of blackmail.

How can we monitor the chemical plant

if we are always afraid
of loosing our jobs.

I remember that during that time

the television was always on,
showcasing the news.

The President of the Nation
has made his position clear.

He announced on his first statement that

there won't be another cargo plant
in Rio Tercero.

There won't be another cargo plant built
at the Military Factory in Rio Tercero.

Besides, the few remains left in the
Factory after this unfortunate accident,

have already been removed from the Factory
and relocated in José de la Quintana

and Villa Maria Military Factory.

I'd like to assure all the population

that there is nothing left
at Río Tercero's Military Factory

that could entail any danger.

Hello bunny!

That same year, on November 24th,
we heard new explosions.

Many shells were still active and began to
explode causing a chain reaction.

It had only been three weeks
since the blast at the Military Factory.

A 15 years old girl died
after being hit by a splinter.

She was my sister' schoolmate.

Her dad worked at the factory.

I didn't want to video anymore.

We had been told to stay calm,
that we were safe.




- What is it?
- Esteban!

What is it?


- What's wrong!?
- Shoot that before they remove it.

Dad spent days gathering missiles
around the neighborhood.

He wanted to x-ray them to check
if they were still active.

When mom found out she told him
he was going crazy,

and asked him to call the police
to remove the shells.

This hole was caused by a bomb.

Today is November 25th.

This projectile landed yesterday.

Power to the people through arms!

But people almost never own arms, dad.

"An unfortunate accident"

Menem announced
the same day of the blasts.

"An unfortunate accident"

We were supposed to repeat.

"An unfortunate accident
due to an operator"

The judge added.

Dear brothers,
we know these are hard days.

It always hurts to say good bye
to our beloved ones.

We are hopeful for a better country.

We have hope in justice.

Officially, seven death
have been recorded.

This is Ana Gritti.

Her husband died due to a heart attack
caused by the shock wave.

She was a lawyer and began investigating
the causes of the explosions.

As a plaintiff, she faced the Judge.

She died from cancer some time later.

Appointed experts have already been

I have hope evidence will be found.

Not to convince myself.

But to convince the Judges.

Because I believe the entire Rio Tercero
and Argentina population

understand that the explosions
had been planned.

We may need more evidence
to convince the judges.

This wall was knocked down.

The hole has been fixed.

This door will be placed right here.

Menem's government sent money to quickly
repair the damages.

Not everyone received the money on time.

And some houses were so damaged
that were not worth repairing.

The old entrance door.

This is the new one.

Old skylight.

New skylight.

Colazo did the construction.

Here, we can see the hole on the outside.

Actually, the former hole.

Caro... Caro...

Turn on the lights.

- Can you see it now?
- Yes.

She is thanking you for helping her.

Are you going to get her tail
docked at the vet, dad?


What do they use to cut it off?

A butcher's knife.

But does it hurt?

It's not the same as docking it when
they're older.

This wall looks lovely after all, right?


There you are, over there.

Nico! Don't be annoying!

Today it's the end of a very special
and painful year

for all the people of Rio Tercero.

It is the conclusion of an important step
on your education journey.

You all have concluded what is likely

the most beautiful stage
of your education;

you have learnt the mystery
of numbers and letters.

Both you and your parents
are feeling a justified joy today.

Because every accomplished desire
makes us feel this way.

We are also aware of the fear of changes.

Begin this new chapter with the certainty
that life is beautiful but not easy.

Make sure to spread smiles,

the clouds will dispel

and you'll became a constant manifestation
of love.

They had argued all night long.

Dad wanted to leave Rio Tercero.

Mom did not want to move.

I went to sleep with my sister Caro.

She explained that we would always have
what we need.

In the end, my parents never left
Rio Tercero.

I finished high school there.

As soon as I finished it, I left.

So did my brother Nicolas.

Caro and Gabi went back
so they could live close to our parents.

During the summer of 2012,
Carolina was diagnosed with cancer.

She settled at my parents' house,
while going through chemotherapy.

I came back to take care of her.

Back at home,
I found a box with VHS tagged:

"school performance"

"Nico's first game"

"holidays at Peko's"

"Useful tips"

"Music videos by Gabi"

"1995 Explosions"

"Caro's graduation"

There were only 8 minutes of her in the

I asked for a camera.

I wanted to video her to keep her image.

But she did not want to be seen hairless.

To avoid thinking, I went out to record.

Drills are held every thursday at 11 am.

A siren alerts people
about possible escapes

at the chemical industries.

Danger. Pipes carrying hydrogen,
nitric acid and sulphuric acid.

Explosion. Fire. Caustic.

At school, we knew when the bell
rang five times

it was not announcing the break,
it was announcing danger.

We would then shut off the windows
and look for the first aid kit.

The kit contained adhesive tape
to seal the openings.

We couldn't use phones and our parents
couldn't come to pick us up.

The teacher would turn on the fan
and the radio.

We would have to repeat
by heart the chemicals' names.









Nitric acid.

I remember that one of
the school exams

asked what were the effects
of every chemical

produced at Military, Atanor
and Petrochemical factories.

Phosgene affects the respiratory tract
and produces allergies.

Big doses may be fatal.

Glyphosate is carcinogenic.

Phosphorus disintegrates bones.

I open my old note book
and I recognize my handwriting.

In three lines,
I wondered:

How do chemical explosion' splinters
look like?

My sister's clinical results were not

The tumor had spread.

Reconstruction of the scene.

For a long time we were told
that everything had been an accident.

Official chemical tests

stated that freight lift number 13
had hit a barrel containing trotyl or TNT.

The judge wears his coat like a cape
and watches the scene while smoking.

He gives indications to
the freight lift operator.

Brings his chin up.

He kisses his own hand.

This is another test,
that had been planned ahead,

regardless of the results
of the investigation,

because it completes the Instruction
of the cause.

Are you convinced it was an accident?

I can't say.

Did the test clarify any doubts you may
have had?

Yes, of course.

Do you know for certain
whether it was an accident or an attack?

No, not yet.

What are the next steps in the

People who were working at the factory
during the blast will come next.

Has there been any connections found
with the weapons traffic legal case

carried out by the Federal
Court of Buenos Aires?

That's another matter that we need
to analyze in the near future.

At the moment,
we haven't found any kind of connection.

Not even close.

I think we need to calm down, make a pause
and evaluate everything we have so far.

Has this been an important advancement
in the cause?


According to the Judge,
the operator Omar Gaviglio

was responsible for the accident.

To prove his innocence, Omar filmed videos
with explosives at his own house.

I will try to shoot this video

replicating the chemical tests
that experts have done so far.

It was established that the spark,

which was an incandescent carbon particle,

caused by the combustion
of the freight lift diesel engine,

fell on top of the explosive

starting the original fire.

We will replicate that process.

We obviously don't have the freight lift,

so we'll need to replicate its action
with something

capable of producing a spark.

Therefore, I will use a grinder.

This piece of steel, will take the place
of the explosive.

End of the test.

The explosive.

The piece of steel that has been sharpen.

Omar was a friend of our family.

When he was diagnosed with cancer,
he brought me a bag with his video tapes.

He died six months later.

In those tapes, he explained
how the projectiles

First, all evidence of the projectiles'
origin printed on their surface

was errased;

Including the Argentine emblem,
the Argentine Army's name.

The Argentine Army's emblem was engraved
on the exterior of the chamber barrel.

The emblem was covered
with a plastic putty,

sanded until perfectly smooth

and finally painted on top
with infrared paint.

Those ammunitions prepared
at military depots,

were loaded on trucks and stored in

Suitable cargo for marine transportation.

Menem decreed these were heading
Panama or Venezuela.

It was a lie.

They never reached Panama or Venezuela.
They were actually sent to Croatia.

Rio Tercero's Military Factory
had been the center of operations

to prepare the armaments
that were sent to Croatia.

While Omar was making those recordings
at his home,

we were watching how Argentina's
government was sending UN peacekeepers

and signing peace treaties on our TV.

In Croatia, Vukovar city's water tower
still shows marks from the Balkan War.

The projectiles that were produced here,
were launched there.

Glory is reached at a price.

I should include a refugees' scene.

I should learn to pronounce the names of
Croats and Serbs fatalities.

But this story takes me home
and pushes me to stay there.

Ammunition loading and assembly plant.

Eight years after the explosions,

a new assigned judge
asked for more chemical tests.

This time, the verdict agreed with Omar.

The blasts had been intentionally planned,
in order to cover the weapons trafficking.

But former President Menem was acquitted.




Several years had to go by
before fireworks were heard again

during holidays.

One clear sky night,
just like this one,

Carolina choked
and something exploded inside her.

She died at home
lying on her childhood's bed.

Soon later, my father was also diagnosed
with cancer.

I noticed before he told me.

Where do I start from?

She was born on the rock.
From the beginning....

She was born on the rock.

Dark long-suffering hands
pulled her away from the rocks,

from the gloomy cavities of the mountain.

Fire dissolved her and purified her.

Other hands shaped her,
turned her into something.

One day, they took most
of her female pairs,

that knew the language of men.

They told her they were heading
far beyond the sea,

and explained her
the reason of her existence.

One morning, she was surprised
by the resplendence and blast.

May I help you with the wheelchair?

Sure, I appreciate it.

It's locked.

Are we taking those?

No, we'll get them later.

My sister's and father's tumors
can be seen as stains on the X-rays.

Images outlive bodies.

The projectiles' X-rays revealed
the chemicals contained inside of them.

Each missile contained white phosphorous.

A very dangerous poison that is produced
at the same Military Factory.