Corporate Accountability

Jonathan Perel

IndieLisboa 2020 •

Argentina, Documentary, 2020, 68′

In the period of Argentina dictatorship (1976 -1983) there were several civil accomplices that contributed to repression and were never taken to justice. In November 2015, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights issued a report with 25 of those cases of proved corporate responsibility. That book was never printed. Perel tries here to render that book visible, in front of many of these companies’ headquarters. 
In this ‘sort of site-specific performance piece’, the Argentinean director Jonathan Perel (17 Monumentos, Toponymy) acts as a private detective, who sets out on a solitary road trip of 14,000 kilometres, to revisit the crime scenes of repressions of 1976-1983 dictatorship in his country. While he reads out loud the official reports on conspiracies, abductions and murders, we see the endless fences, framed by the windshield of the director’s car, shot undercover, at day-break. Those are not prisons that one sees behind the fences, but the fuming factory chimneys. The evidence that Perel collects, following the recently published report by the Argentine State, is deemed to hold corporations accountable for the crimes of the past, but the lack of transparency, evident in his exhaustive catalogue of images, forces one to also ask inconvenient questions about the present. (Anastasia Lukovnikova)