Secrets, Trauma, and the Memory Market (or the return of the repressed in recent Argentine post-dictatorship cultural production)

Silvia R Tandeciarz


Since the end of the last Argentine Dictatorship (1976-1983), a number of feature-length films have engaged in the public debate over the legacies of state terrorism. El secreto de sus ojos (2009), Argentina's most recent Oscar winner, is the latest to do so, exploring the effects of more than a decade of impunity on those who lost their loved ones. Suggesting that restoration of a justice system that works can lead to the restoration of full civic engagement in a healthy body politic, the film raises important questions about citizenship and belonging in a post-national era. This essay explores the film's phenomenal success in the global memory market to illuminate what remains at stake in contemporary narratives of reconciliation.


Memory, Argentina, State Terrorism, Melodrama, Justice, Neoliberalism

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