Friday, August 15, 2014

Documentary Review: Eva Peron (1963)

This documentary was first produced for CBS.  It has later been played on A&E and the Biography Channel.  This documentary tells the life of Eva Peron.  The musical Evita could very well have been based on this documentary.  She has born illegitimate and was poor.  She escaped poverty by using a man, Augustin Magalda, a Tango singer who had visited her home.  She then uses other men, to get into advertising, and acting.  She was never a very good actress, and would order all her films be destroyed.  She went from Colonel to Colonel, until landing with Colonel Peron.  She met him in 1944 at a benefit in Luna Park for victims of an earthquake in Eva was good at politics.  She was successful to portray herself and Juan Peron as supporters of the people.  Peron quickly rose to power, and became vice president.  However  some felt he has headed to dictatorship, and had him arrested.  Eva Peron was able to rally the working class which resulted in riots and demonstration for Peron's release.  When he was released he was more powerful than ever. 
Peron followed this with winning the election for President.  The election had many shenanigans, including possible voter manipulation through threats, which included violence and gun shots towards his opponents.
After coming to power, Peron ruled with an iron fist, and Eva increased in power.  Peron used his power to force higher taxes and controls on business.  He used increased money for his own benefit, as well as paying back his "descamisados" with public works, many of which was never completed.
Evita used her power to get even with past enemies, forcing the exile of an fellow actress who had criticized her.  She also managed a charitable society.  This she would use to award others with items such as a house, or clothing.  Somehow she also was able to own $15 million in jewels and extravagant wardrobe.  
She toured Europe, and was heartily received in Spain.  However her receptions in Italy and France were not so enthusiastic.  She returned home disappointed. 
Eva's big political blunder was to pursue the vice presidency in Peron's reelection.  The military indicated that this was not acceptable.  They would not take orders form a woman.  She was forced to decline the vice presidency, saying it was due to her young age. 
After this her health turned.  She was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at age 33.  She was granted her last wish; that of a state funeral.

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