It also shows when Kirchner had the military take dictator Jorge Rafael Videla’s picture down from a place of honor in his campaign to revive human rights trials.
The film doesn’t criticize Kirchner in any way.
It doesn’t include, for example, accusations by his former political allies that he enriched himself with $535 million in oil royalties while he was governor of the southern Santa Cruz province. Kirchner moved it into overseas accounts in the 1990s, keeping it safe there from Argentina’s roller-coaster economy. Critics said he never fully accounted for the cash, but supporters praised this ability to outmaneuver enemies as an important aspect of the Kirchners’ rule.
De Luque acknowledged she had no intention of making an objective documentary.
‘‘I'm not neutral,’’ de Luque said. ‘‘I'm not a journalist or neutral historian. It is a controversial movie, but that’s okay. This is how democracy works.’’
But she said she didn’t want to make a puff-piece, either.
‘‘I didn’t want a movie that promotes only one view ... I've got enough cinematic ethics to know that my job was not to make a film just for my people, but to make it universal enough to be seen by people with other views,’’ de Luque added.
Fernandez credits her late husband with fostering a model of social inclusion that has reduced extreme poverty, but critics see the Kirchners as serial abusers of power, autocrats whose demagogic populism has enfeebled the country’s institutions.
Many right-wing Peronists have slammed the Kirchners’ center-left model, but Fernandez is now also getting heat from the left, led by trade unionists who say she is not sharing enough of Argentina’s remaining wealth with them.
And by using central bank reserves to fund social programs rather than make debt payments, Argentina has found itself increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, Fraga said.
Bacman, who directs the Center for Public Opinion in Buenos Aires, said it’s still too early to put Kirchner alongside Peron, who died in 1974.
Peron formed a movement that made working-class people feel represented as he modernized Argentina in the 1940s and 1950s, pushing through worker-friendly laws, giving women the right to vote and fostering a post-war economic boom, Bacman recalled.
Kirchner’s defining success was to re-establish presidential power after a profound economic and political crisis, when 50 percent of the people were impoverished and ‘‘throw them all out’’ was the theme of raucous pot-banging protests.
‘‘Kirchner’s historical legacy isn’t settled yet; I think in some ways it depends on what happens with Cristina Fernandez,’’ Bacman said.