Sunday, September 21, 2014

Documentary Review: Evita: The Woman Behind the Myth

Evita: The Woman Behind the Myth: A&E Biography Channel, 1996.
You can always learn a little more about a subject.  For example Eva's hair was not naturally blonde but was dyed.
This video presentation offered considerable information with regards to Eva's foundation.  The foundation was established as an answer to a snub from the Argentine aristocracy.  The Society of Beneficence handles most charitable giving to the poor.  The first lady was always called to be the foundation chair.  Contribution to the fund was mandatory.  Every Argentine worker contributed one to three day's pay towards the fund every year.  In addition to this all Argentine industries were expected to contribute.  This was a way to keep governmental inspectors away. There were also taxes on gambling, casinos, lottery and horse racing and other taxes which also supported the fund.
The fund contributed up to $45 million a years towards the poor.  However, the fund kept no records.  It was impossible to tell how much of the fund was siphoned off into private accounts. 
One of the projects funded by the Fund was Evita City.  This was a city established with government sponsored housing.  The houses, with furniture and clothing, were given to those selected to be recipients.  The documentary interviewed one woman whose family moved into one of these homes.  Before there was no possibility of the family to rise out of poverty.  The children had not even been able to attend school until this charity.
This presentation also explores the efforts of Evita to become vice president when Juan Peron was running for reelection.  She had originally accepted the nomination; but had to rescind due to pressure from the military.
One of the interesting things about Evita is the preservation of her body after she passed away.  She succumbed to uteran cancer at the age of 33.  She did not want to be forgotten.  Her husband had her body embalmed, with the hopes of fulfilling this request.  He had hoped to build a large memorial for her, however this never happened.

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