Reframing transitions and contesting memories: The archive and the archival object in Peruvian cinema

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This article considers the stories behind the production and screening of two very different Peruvian films that reveal much about the way the archive, the archival object and archival fragment have worked to disrupt and force a reconsideration of key moments in Peruvian political history of the twentieth century. One, a feature film by Francisco Lombardi, Ojos que no ven/Eyes That Don’t See (2003), provides a provocative perspective on the impact of the televisual revelations of the corruption at the heart of President Fujimori’s government (1990–2000). The second, a documentary made by Kurt Hermann at the behest of the military, Alerta en la Frontera/Border Alert (1941) offers a patriotic recording of the border campaign against Ecuador, which was banned at the time and had its first public screening 70 years later. This analysis suggests that the delay in viewing events of such national importance forces not only a reconsideration of those events and their disruptive effect on a collective, official sense of national history and identity but also a questioning of the way that contemporary political figures and events might be considered. This article also takes account of the key role of Peru’s national film archive in shaping the nature of national heritage, culture and memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalNew Cinemas
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Peru
  • archive
  • Francisco Lombardi
  • contested memory
  • national history
  • identity

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