Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Money Talks

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Money Talks

Article excerpt

Filmmaker Marcelo Pineyro talks about defying the Argentine censors with the scorching gay heist film Burnt Money

Argentine film director Marcelo Pineyro had no idea what he was getting into last year when he made Burnt Money, a fact-based film about two gay lovers involved in a disastrous robbery. Although there is very little censorship in Argentina today, the local film classification board created a new rating for it. "They said that nobody under 18 could be admitted and decreed that it must never be shown on television," says Pineyro, still incensed at the decision. "When we asked them their reasons, they said that the film doesn't condemn the subjects enough for what they do, in particular the homosexual relationship." When Pineyro and his producers appealed the decision as unconstitutional, they were turned down three times--although on subsequent occasions, the film board did not repeat its original objections.

Argentina, of course, has always been a conservative, Roman Catholic society. Even today, says Pineyro, gay men struggle to overcome prejudices that linger from the last dictatorship (1976-1983), when they were more harshly repressed than political offenders.

Burnt Money (a.k.a. Plata Quemada) is set in 1965, when society was at its most repressive. Recreating real-life events that took place in Buenos Aires and in Montevideo, Uruguay, it tells the story of a heist that goes wrong when the thieves gun down three policemen. They flee to Uruguay, where they are systematically hunted down and finally cornered in an apartment building, where an explosive gunfight ensues.

The film focuses squarely on the passionate, often dysfunctional love between the two trigger-happy male lovers in the gang--Angel, a Spanish immigrant with severe schizophrenia, and Nene, a middle-class jailbird. …

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