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With “Argentina, 1985” earning accolades as one of the best films of 2022 (and for good reason), the real events that director Santiago Mitre covers hit very close to home. But the lessons learned from Mitre’s historical drama are applicable to everyone—not just Argentines like me.
“Argentina, 1985” dives into the events surrounding the 1985 “Trial of the Juntas,” which prosecuted the ringleaders of Argentina’s most bloody military dictatorship. In 1976, the military junta overthrew the government of Isabel Perón—Juan Domingo Perón’s third wife—and ushered in the darkest period of Argentine history, leaving more than 30,000 people missing or dead. The “Juntas” executed a policy of persecution, systematically targeting people though murder, torture, and other human rights violations.
Argentina’s last dictatorship eliminated people like my paternal grandfather, Juan Domingo Salomón, a loyal Peronist who spoke out against the military dictatorship. In 1977, the police arbitrarily went to my grandfather’s house and arrested him. To this day, his whereabouts are unknown. He simply vanished—no one even knows the exact details of his arrest or the months that followed.
My grandfather was taken away because of his ideas and his words. He refused to stay silent as