Diego Martinez Vignatti addresses the environmental disaster in Argentina in La Tierra Roja
by Aurore Engelen
- La Tierra Roja brings together Geert Van Rampelberg and Eugenia Ramirez Mori in the heart of the Argentinian rainforest in a contemporary western directed by Diego Martinez Vignatti
In Argentina, Diego Martinez Vignatti has just begun shooting his fourth feature film. From Argentina himself, Martinez Vignatti has been based in Belgium since the late 1990s, where he attended classes at the Images department of the INSAS film school. He worked for several years as head cameraman – alongside Carlos Reygadas, for example – before directing his debut feature documentary, Nosotros. He then directed La Marea [+see also:
film profile] (Tides), followed by The Tango Singer [+see also:
film profile], which did the rounds at various festivals.
La Tierra Roja [+see also:
film profile] (Red Earth) follows the story of Pierre, assigned to Argentina by a multinational company in order to oversee a programme of forest clearance and planting of fir trees. He has no qualms about razing the trees to the ground, burning them and pouring agrotoxins all over this fertile soil in order to make it more productive. In Misiones Province, there are countless cases of deformed babies, cancers and mentally impaired children stemming from the use of these agrotoxins. While a rebellion starts to brew, Pierre falls in love with Ana, a young activist and primary school teacher. Torn between love and the defection of many of his workers, Pierre will be forced to choose his side. Owing to both the deforestation and the pollution, the earth is dying, along with its inhabitants. The interests of distant multinational companies are taking precedence over the day-to-day lives of the workers, which makes the ideal setting for a contemporary environmental western.
Pierre is played by Geert Van Rampelberg, winner of the Ensor for Best Actor for Time of My Life [+see also:
film profile] and seen on screens recently in De Behandeling [+see also:
film profile]. The cast also includes Eugenia Ramirez Mori, who has already appeared in Martinez Vignatti’s previous films. The movie is being produced by Entre Chien et loup, a faithful production partner of the director’s, in co-production with A Private View (Belgium) and Trivial Media (Argentina). The title has received support from the CCA, the VAF and Screen Flanders, and it will be sold internationally by Latido Films.
(Translated from French)