This film is part of Free

The Argentine Question

From the bustle of Buenos Aires to the estancias of the fertile interior, this film shows the people of Argentina at work and at play in factories, on farms, and at football matches.

1942 19 mins


This film from March of Time combines a defence of Argentinian neutrality with a wide-ranging narrative showing the virtues of the country’s politicians and people, from the solid values of Buenos Aires’ middle-classes to the hard working gauchos, seen here dancing to traditional guitar music. The country’s wealthy landowners are criticised for their anti-democratic tendencies and the film warns that they are the weak link through which fifth columnists and Nazi spies could infiltrate.

The emphasis on the friendship between the USA and Argentina in this issue reflects the fact that the film was part-funded by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (OCIAA), a federal agency created to counter German and Italian propaganda in South America. The film’s three-part structure reflects this even-handedness. The familiar tones of Westbrook Van Voorhis which open the film, give way to an Argentinian narrator who takes the viewer on a tour through the country’s culture, industries and agriculture. Van Voorhis resumes for the final section, to emphasise that as the effects of war are increasingly felt, Argentina must eventually choose between despotism or democracy.