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Award for Falklands' war film in Spain

Tuesday, January 31st 2006 - 20:00 UTC
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“Enlightened by fire”, the Argentine film on the Falklands/Malvinas war, partly filmed on location, has been awarded the Goya Prize to the “best Spanish speaking foreign film” in the twentieth edition of the renowned Barcelona, Spain Cinema Festival.

Director Tristan Bauer interviewed from Buenos Aires said he was "highly touched" since the prize "is a recognition of the Malvinas war, to all those who fought, died and have since committed suicide".

The author of the book and script writer Edgardo Esteban, a journalist and Malvinas veteran, described the moment as "unique and unrepeatable".

Main actor Gaston Pauls emphasized the award was the "culmination of five years of hard effort", and "I dedicate it to the Malvinas veterans and to the courage of Edgardo".

Bauer added he was more convinced "than ever" of the Argentine sovereignty over the Islands and the "prize and film will help spectators from all over the World understand what the real situation is".

"When you go to a festival you have the illusion of winning; we'd won important prizes in the San Sebastian and Havana festivals, and luckily the illusion was again confirmed in Barcelona", added Bauer.

The film is essentially anti war, "a film about the war but for peace", said Bauer who confessed he was marveled how "something which is so Argentine and sensitive as Malvinas has been able to transcend borders", not only because of the awards but "just looking how touched and stirred are Spaniards on leaving the cinema".

"They feel Malvinas as something which is engrained in them and this has to do with the origin of the film, Edgardo's book, a young 19 year old which is driven from his home to war". However Bauer points out that the film is not trying to send a political message or a political perspective analysis but rather tries to show "the perspective from a teenager's eyes who is forced to participate in something as tragic as a war".

Edgardo Esteban, the author of the script from his own personal experience, said he was hopeful that "Enlightened by fire" would help the Argentines "to think and see what we can do to look forward".

"I feel very happy with the Goya award; it's been a long, extenuating process, five years of hard work and this is the reward".

"Enlightened by fire" is based on the book "Malvinas: a coming home dairy" written by Edgardo Esteban and actually begins when a journalist who at 19 was recruited and sent of to war, receives the information that one of his war pals attempted to commit suicide.

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