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also known as Toponymy


  • 2.7
Toponymy is the discipline that studies the etymological origin of place names. What Jonathan Perel chooses to analyze visually in his film is a series of towns located in the western portion of the province of Tucumán, which were founded by the military government during the mid-70s within the framework of the Operativo Independencia, a project whose aim was to eliminate the guerrilla groups (mainly the ERP) that operated in that area. In fact, the names chosen for those towns came from members of the military of different ranks who had died during confrontations with guerilla groups. With some minimum historical presentation limited to reviewing official documents, Perel focuses on capturing the towns' present and resorts to an aesthetic as austere as it is rigorous: fifteen-seconds-long fixed shots. This way, he shows how time has eroded that attempt to impose historical semantics and nature and oblivion still wipe out the traces of the utopia that was attempted there once.

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