Buenos Aires, Apr 3 (EFE) .- The history of the Falklands War is usually illustrated in Argentina with young male soldiers who lived horrors in a cold territory and fell against the United Kingdom, but a documentary shows 39 years later a little aspect known, that of three nurses who participated in the war.
“They were surely condemned to oblivion because they were women, also because they were nurses, because they witnessed the worst of the war (…). What they had to tell was something that they did not want to tell,” the director of the documentary “We were also there”, the Argentine Federico Strifezzo.
It thus points to the fact that the Argentine dictatorship (1976-1983) tried to silence the reality of that warlike conflict of 1982 in which they were defeated against the United Kingdom, so that the forced silence of a total of fourteen participating nurses covered the wounds of the combatants, the poorly fed young soldiers, the frozen bodies and the mistreatment.
THREE HIDDEN HEROINES
“We were also there” focuses on three of those nurses, members of the Argentine Air Force, who remained stationed in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, in southern Argentina, and who were waiting there for the arrival of the combat wounded from the islands .
In the film, Alicia Reynoso, Stella Morales and Ana Masitto return together for the first time to the places of Comodoro Rivadavia where their camps and shelters were in 1982, places that today are abandoned caves at best and at worst, empty lots.
And they speak, cry and drop too heavy a burden, in the shadow of veterans commonly recognized by society.
“They were silent for thirty-something years. One of them, Ana, says that she spent more than ten years without telling her husband (…) that she was in the Falklands War, Alicia did not allow her children to turn on the TV on April 2. It was a story that they had really deeply buried, “explains Strifezzo.
THE DIRECTOR FOUND THEM FROM A PHOTO
Strifezzo learned the story from a photo of the war in which the three of them appeared, something that triggered his curiosity, and from there he saw magazine covers of the time in which they were reported during the war, one of them with the headline: “in the middle of the war, with courage and the perfume of a woman”.
In the tape, they recall their optimistic statements about the war and the warnings of their superiors: “but don’t go and talk, eh?”, Says one of them that they were told.
In one of these news items, it was stated that some of the women were volunteers, “one of the great lies” of the dictatorship, according to Strifezzo, since in reality the fourteen women were professionals in the South American country’s Air Force.
The documentary was premiered at the Trieste Festival and last Wednesday, two days before the 39th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, it was screened in Comodoro Rivadavia.
A PARTIAL OFFICIAL RECOGNITION
To this day, these three nurses and their companions have been recognized by the National Congress, but “they continue to deny them as veterans for not having gone to the islands.”
According to Strifezzo, despite not having been on the islands, “they played a role that was very valuable”, parallel to that of those who were on the battlefield, where 649 Argentines, 255 British and three islanders died.
At a time when women were beginning to make their way into the armed forces of the states, the life stories of Alicia, Stella and Ana carry “another vision of war.”
“I think the documentary talks about the war from a closer, more humane, more emotional place. Perhaps it can be a contribution to what exists today regarding the Malvinas War,” explains the director.
(c) EFE Agency