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TIFF 2015 Review: Eva Doesn't Sleep

A combination of fact and fiction, director Pablo Agüero‘s Eva Doesn’t Sleep is a posthumous reflection of Argentinian First Lady Eva Perón (better known by citizens as “Evita”), and her impact on the country’s state of being after her sudden death from cancer at the age of 33.

The controversy of Peron’s politics is handled through a series of vignettes, following the embalmer (Imanol Arias) who helped preserve her body, the military officers (Denis Lavant, Nicolás Goldschmidt) who seized it following the Argentinan coup of 1955, and the ensuing two decade journey of its return, before being buried by the treacherous Admiral Emilio Massera (Gael García Bernal). Each character holds either a great sense of depth of animosity towards Evita, and in this form of presentation the film allows for a microsociological focus on a larger-than-life personality to take shape.

Agüero‘s utilizes an extensive amount of history surrounding two decades of development, expressed in a uniquely morbid tone. Darkness and pessimism engulfs every sequence of the film, and the mise-en-scene illustrates the duress faced by citizens experiencing the loss of a crucial figure, one who who represented hope and change for the nation.

While an understanding of Argentinia’s history across the 20th century isn’t essential to enjoy Eva Doesn’t Sleep – it will certainly impress those who hold a keen interest. For others, its an offbeat encapsulation of the various perspectives regarding Evita’s life, that fits in with the tone of Agüero‘s previous films to date.

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