‘Puan’: laughter as a form of activism

Directors: María Alchés and Benjamín Naishtat

Performers: Marcelo Subiotto, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Julieta Zylberberg, Mara Bestelli

Year: 2023

Premiere: March 27, 2024


If philosophizing is preparing for death – so they say – then it makes sense that ‘Puan’ It begins with the death of the head of the Chair of Political Philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires. What comes next is the rivalry between two teachers at the center – one, passionate and brilliant but clumsy and somewhat obsolete; the other, pedantic and seductive but also brilliant – to gain the position and, more specifically, the existential crisis of an individual that perhaps reflects that of all of Argentina.

While contemplating that man, the first film directed as a duo by María Alchés and Benjamín Naishtat It appears at the same time dense but light and as intellectual as it is mundane.. He advances by stringing together references to Heidegger, Heraclitus, Rousseau, Hobbes and Spinoza, and uses philosophical principles as the basis of his own narrative construction; At the same time, he skillfully uses different forms of comedy – slapstick, entanglement, costumbrismo, eschatology – as a vehicle on which to propose reflections on the loss of ideals, the importance of public education and the consequences of neoliberalism.

His plot adventure culminates in another form of death, a institutional collapse painfully close to the reality imposed by Javier Mileibut that does not prevent him from concluding on a note of optimism, vindicating the dignity of defeat and the balsamic effects of activism for society and the human spirit.

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