Tributes have been pouring in for filmmaker, activist and politician Fernando Ezequiel 'Pino' Solanas, who passed away in Paris at the age of 84. Solanas had been admitted to hospital prior to be treated for COVID-19.
A socialist at heart, Solanas had become a sensation in Argentina and in international film festivals, combining his concern for the working class with a strong message of environmentalism and respect for nature. His career began with the short film 'Segir andando' in 1968 but it was with 'La Hora de los Hornos' (dubbed his "most political film") a documentary on the liberation struggle waged in Latin America as seen through an Argentine lens.
In 'Journey to the Fumigated Towns', Solanas provides a compelling documentary that depicts the fallout from agricultural toxins in different parts of Argentina, as a result of mass corporatisation. Solanas survived threats to his life and exile from the Argentine military dictatorship which he fiercely opposed in spirit and action. He was one of the pioneers of "Third World Cinema" which turned the lens away from neoliberal and neocolonial narratives.
Last year, Solanas was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the International Film Festival of Kerala, where Chief Minister Vijayan stated that he was "an inspiration to a democratic country like India." Solanas was also the recipient of the FIPRESCI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and has received accolades from film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
His other films include 'Tangos, Exile of Gardela', which is a film that seeks to crystallise the notion of an Argentinean identity. 'South' and 'The Journey' are two more celebrated films from Solanas.