|Intro||American film director, photographer and author|
|Is||Film director Painter Photographer Writer Journalist Film editor Film producer|
|From||Argentina United States of America|
|Field||Arts Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism Literature|
|Birth||9 July 1960, Córdoba, Argentina|
Eduardo Montes-Bradley (born July 1960) is an award-winning documentarian. His early work dates back to the early 1980s social conflicts in Central America. In the late 1990s he developed a series of biographical essays on Latin American intellectuals and writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, and Julio Cortázar for the now-defunct Contrakultura Films. His documentary films also explored the Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian cultures in films like Samba On Your Feet. In 2008 Montes-Bradley co-founded Heritage Film Project a publishing effort with an academic approach producing films on Holocaust survivors, social activists, history, literature, science and the arts. Most of these films are available through academic and public libraries and have been shown on American and European television. In December 2019, the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires presented "From Here and There: A Montes-Bradley Retrospective”, including nineteen documentaries produced in Argentina, United States, Brazil and Germany between 1999 and 2019. Montes-Bradley's written essays have been translated and published by Random House, Sperling & Kupfer, Editorial Norma, and Editorial Sudamericana.
Montes-Bradley came of age during the 1960s in Buenos Aires. In 1973 he was admitted to Colegio Nicolás Avellaneda. On May 25, 1973, President Lanusse is succeeded by president Cámpora ending seven years of military rule. In June of that same year, Montes-Bradley joined the Unión de Estudiantes Secundarios (UES). The deaths of Pablo Picasso, Pablo Casals, Pablo Neruda and Víctor Jara, all of which occurred that year, had a profound impact on him and in his generation. Montes-Bradley recalls 1973 as a milestone: "... because of the unique experience of living in a home engulfed by music and poetry in a country at the brink Civil War." On March 24, 1976, general Videla led a military Coup d'état deposing president Isabelita, thus inaugurating an era of state-sponsored terror resulting in the death and despairing of thousands. In 1979 he relocated to New York.
In 1980 Montes-Bradley was named US correspondent for El Heraldo del Cine, a Buenos Aires-based trade publication catering Latin America's film industry. He also contributed as a freelance reporter to The Hollywood Reporter. As the US correspondent for El Heraldo del Cine, he conducted a series of interviews with Jack Valenti, Menahem Golan, Renzo Rossellini, and Lalo Schifrin among others. His first contribution to filmmaking can be traced to Margareta Vinterheden's Man maste ju leva, Sweden, 1978. In the early 1980s Montes-Bradley worked as assistant editor in documentary films about the civil war in Nicaragua, and El Salvador. The latter produced by the insurgent media collective of Radio Venceremos. In 1984 Montes-Bradley establishes The Entertainment Herald, a bilingual film magazine distributed by subscription and at film festivals in Europe and Latin America. In 1986, he was appointed as Director of International Sales at Filmtrust Motion Picture Licensing, an independent production and distribution company based in Los Angeles. Three years later, Montes-Bradley joins producer Javier Gracia to write, produce, and direct Double Obsession, a straight-to-video thriller released by Columbia Tri-Star starring Maryam D'Abo, Margaux Hemingway, Scott Valentine and Frederick Forrest. In 1995 he married actress Sandra Ballesteros, leading-lady in "El seKuestro" (The Kidnapping), a politically-incorrect satiric-parody about a guerrilla group in the imaginary Latin American nation of Rio Hondo. "El seKuestro” received negative reviews, and ultimately became a cult movie, as well as Montes-Bradley's last known fiction. In 1997 Montes-Bradley returned to the documentary format with "Soriano" a biographical-sketch about Argentine writer Osvaldo Soriano. Soriano would be the first of more than thirty documentary portrayals of intellectuals, artists, and writers to follow. Montes-Bradley has often been credited under pseudonym such as Diana Hunter, and Rita Clavel. He's credited under his own name and with pseudonyms including Diana Hunter, Ana Lobos, Cándida Beltran, Emma Padilla, Lupe Vélez y Rita Clavel, pen-names inspired in leading ladies from the Mexican silent era.
Montes-Bradley is a provocative filmmaker who inaugurated a style by interrogating paradigmatic icons of the Latin American culture, and by doing so within the spirit of a cultural agitator.— Alejandro Ricagno, La Cinémathèque, Toulouse, March 28, 2003.
Among his most recent work are Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement, Rita Dove: An American Poet, Evita: The Documentary, White: A Season in the Life of John Borden Evans, and Samba on Your Feet. Montes-Bradley is also engaged in volunteer work as member of the board with the African American Heritage Center, member of the UCLA UNESCO Chair on Global Citizenship Education Advisory Committee, and was most recently awarded as UCLA Regents Lecturer.
The Latin American collection
Independently produced and distributed films dealing with Latin American cultural and political issues, and remarkable individuals.
Evita (Documentary). 2007. Documentary on Eva Duarte, former First Lady of Argentina. Evita, the illegitimate child without social or economic standing, was determined to make it big in the world of entertainment. Her love affair with a rising political star (Juan Domingo Perón) transformed her into a vital part of Perón's plans to seduce a nation. The charming Evita became a skilled public speaker that fitted perfectly with politics in Argentina. Just imagine Marilyn Monroe with the charisma of Princess Diana, elevated by Joseph Goebbels's propaganda machine as the indisputable Spiritual Leader of the Nation. The documentary appears to be fair, perhaps the first biography on the subject that strives to be balanced. Evita was screened at the Virginia Film Festival, in Charlottesville, on November 4, 2011.
Che: Rise & Fall. DVD Release Date: July 13, 2006 by Westlake Entertainment, German Release, 20007, Latin American premiered on NatGeo. CHE: Rise and Fall, follows on the trials and tribulations of Ernesto Guevara in the words of old friends and comrades-in-arms. Includes the testimonies of Guevara's friend Alberto Granado, and members of his elite military entourage Alberto Castellanos, Enrique Oltuski, Argudín Mendoza, Enrique "Pombo" Villegas. Locations: Havana, Congo, Bolivia. Super 16mm. Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Samba On Your Feet USA | Brazil 2005. The documentary explores behind the scenes of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, revealing the preambles of the cultural clash leading to Samba, an indigenous cultural tradition in Brazil. Samba On Your Feet includes archival material and interviews with iconic figures of Brazilian Carnival and Samba. "Samba On Your Feet" was selected to participate at the Toulouse Latin American Film Festival 2008, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival 2006, Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) 2007, and Toronto Latino Film Festival. The film is distributed by Filmmakers Library. Worldwide rights by Alexander Street Press. The documentary gained the recognition of African American Studies.
Ismael Viñas: Witness of a Century. Original title: Ismael Viñas: Testigo del siglo. Film based on the memoirs and recollections of Ismael Viñas: legendary political figure, economist, founder of Movimiento de Liberación Nacional (MALENA), former Undersecretary of Culture during the Revolución Libertadora. Viñas reappears in front of the camera after twenty-six years in self-imposed exile, first in Israel and finally in the US. During a series of conversations with Montes-Bradley in Florida, USA, Viñas reflects on his youth, on his brother David, on his father, a well political character during the times of Hipólito Yrigoyen, and a Federal Judge in Patagonia during the uprisings portrayed in Rebellion in Patagonia in the early 1920s. Viñas also recalls his imprisonment during the Peronist period and with particular emphasis his relationship with Ernesto Che Guevara, and Salvador Allende amongst many other relevant figures of the period. On release, the film caused somewhat of a commotion. It was acclaimed and criticize by extremist elements on the right and particularly on the left where the Ismael Viñas portrayed on the documentary was perceived as a traitor to the Marxist principles he once so strongly embraced. Directed by Montes-Bradley as Diana Hunter. Premiered at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI).
The Great Pretender. Official Selection of the International Film Festival of Buenos Aires (BAFICI), 2007. Released in Uruguay as "No a los papelones". Release in Argentina as El gran simulador. The documentary presents Montes-Bradley's quest to find Nahuel Maciel, a journalist who fifteen years before fooled the press core by posing as a native from the Mapuche nation in Patagonia. Disguised as Chief Nahuel the impostor sold alleged interviews with Gabriel García Márquez, Umberto Eco, Mario Vargas Llosa and others to prestigious local newspapers such as El Cronista Comercial. Nahuel Maciel later published a book with a bogus interview with the Colombian Nobel Prize preceded by a foreword by Eduardo Galeano. Montes-Bradley finally finds Maciel some 300 miles from Buenos Aires in a frontier town called Gualeguaychú where Maciel was working close to the leadership of a group of environmentalists battling a paper-mill in the Argentina–Uruguay border. The film is witty, provocative and politically incorrect. El gran simulador was initially banned from theatres in Argentina for its politics, and it was effectively released in Uruguay (across the border) with good B.O. results. However, the film was shown as part of the Official Selection of the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), 2007. On the director's request the film did not participate "in competition" to avoid further turmoil. Two years later, in April 2008, El gran simulador was finally released in Argentina by Editorial Perfil, the opposition media conglomerate own by Jorge Fontevecchia. HD | 75 min. 35 mm.
Crónicas Mexicas. The documentary follows on the footsteps of Hernán Cortés from the landing beaches of Veracruz on the golf coast of Mexico, to Tenochtitlan, the ancient capital of the Aztec. Montes-Bradley (as Rita Clavel) teams-up with Martín Caparrós who becomes the omnipresent and omniscient protagonist of this journey through geography and time. Caparrós acute sense of irony becomes a permanent fixture throughout the film, provoking the audience into uncharted: the politically incorrect history of Latin America.
- Frogments, (USA, 2000). Experimental work on images captured by Julio Cortázar in 8 mm and verses by Allen Ginsberg. The gestation of this short film was part of the dialogue between the director and Aurora Bernárdez during the investigation period that ended with Cortázar: notes for a documentary (2002) and Cortázar without a beard (Random House Mondadori, 2004). (3').
- Freedom, (USA, 1986). Experimental work based on images captured by Montes-Bradley in 8 mm in and around Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami in which the filmmaker highlights the marginal precariousness of those who survive in the streets of the most prosperous nation. In this short film, the United States emerges as a society with the same conflicts of developing countries. (3').
- The Unanimous Night, (USA, 2018). The public reappearance of Luis Harss arises from an interview with Tomás Eloy Martínez published in La Nación in 2008. Shortly thereafter, Montes-Bradley begins a documentary dialogue in Mercersburg. In The Unanimous Night, Harss refers to a visit by Jorge Luis Borges and the relationship between biographer and subject. (5').
- Dialogue and Moisture, (USA, 2018). A short film by Montes-Bradley serves as a trigger with which the Luis Harss evokes the place of privilege that nostalgia occupies in his perpetual exile. (5')
- Leon Rozitchner's Window, (USA, 2008) Montes-Bradley maintained a personal and epistolary relationship with Leon Rozitcher that lasted over fifteen years. During all that time the philosopher, a disciple of Merleau-Ponty, objected to the invitation to talk in front of the camera. That window suddenly opened one day when the director came to visit. (17 ’).
El sekuestro (Feature Film). Miami Beach: Iruña Films. 1997. (The KidNapping) Satire-Farse. El Sekuestro depicts an absurd revolutionary movement in Rio Hondo, a fictitious republic "lost somewhere in America," "outsider" Bruno (Tobias Meincke, from Germany) runs a classified ad for accomplices in a kidnapping. Joining the cause are a prostitute, Carmen (Sandra Ballesteros, from Argentina), an unemployed steel worker, Mario (Adam Black, of Spain), and a pretty boy, Luis (Luis Fernández, of Venezuela) all of whom want to change their own lives, but without the least interest in creating a socialist Utopia. They kidnap businessman Renato Cefalú (Lázaro Pérez, of Cuba) who doesn't have anywhere near the ransom the outlaws are demanding, and whose wife (Alex Pertile, of Italy) goes about seducing the chief of police in order to prevent him from tracking down her husband. An example of the movie's brand of cynical humor is the character, Mario. dreaming of what he'll do with the ransom money, he says, "First, a small repair shop. One or two apprentices, tools and a hole in the ground ... Then I get my hands on someone as poor as I used to be, I teach him the craft and, Long Live the F ..... Revolution! I'll never have to work again as long as the sucker does the job for me." The critics hammered the film following its premiere at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, most of the blame focus on the sound quality. The director will argue that the soundtrack of the copy shipped to the film festival was sabotaged during the development process by groups that perceived the film as a mockery of Montoneros and possibly other revolutionary or terrorists organizations. However, El SeKuestro remains a director's favorite and is frequently aired on television (Canal Volver - ArteAr). "El Sekuestro" intentionally written with "K" instead of "C", has been recently interpreted as an attempt to ridicule Kirchner. El SeKuestro was filmed in South Beach in October-November 1995. On November 4 of the same year Montes-Bradley and leading actress Sandra Ballesteros, were married. The film is a political farce taking on the events that marked Argentine life during the 1970s. It has been said that the plot is an excuse to mock the struggle of the guerrilla organizations that confronted the military regime led by Jorge Rafael Videla.
Double Obsession (Feature Film). Boulder: TriStar Columbia. 1992. Thriller. Starring Margaux Hemingway, Beth Fisher, Scott Valentine, Jamie Horton, Maryam D'Abo and Frederic Forrest. Edited by John Venzon. TriStar Columbia and Reivaj Films, 1992. The film did well with foreign distribution, particularly in the straight to video and cable markets. Double Obsession was shot on 35mm at the University of Colorado in Boulder, a final transfer to video was later produced. Montes-Bradley hardly ever talks about this film written by himself in collaboration with Jeffrey Delman and Rick Marx. The film was initially referred to as Mirror Image.
Smoothtalker (Feature Film). Boulder: TriStar Columbia. 1990. Thriller, Film Noire. USA, 1992. Produced by Smoothtalker Productions. Story: "The woman who 976 numbers offer the men who call a world of erotic fantasy. But they never know who lurks on the other side of the line". Starring Blair (Lisa) Weikgenant as Lisa Charles, Peter Crombie as Jack Perdue, Stuart Whitman as Lt. Gallagher, Sidney Lassick, Joe Guzaldo, Paul Raci as Peri and Burt Ward. Edited by Sandra Adair. Executive Producer Javier Gracia. Original score by Tony Roman; Production Design by Brian Densmore. US Release: June 18, 1992
Montes-Bradley directed music-videos at odds with the dominant trends at a time in which MTV was still in the experimental stage. Rumbera (trad. a woman who dances the rumba), is a song by Willy Chirino, (Sony Music, 1994. "Rumbera", the videoclip based on Willy Chirino's song is a film-extravaganza shot in the style of the neorealism with magic realism undertones. The seven-minute short was filmed in a single take, in the interior of a cabaret in South Beach. The Cameraman and Director of Photography was Scott Mumford. Rumbera opened the doors for other salsa music videos to be regularly programmed in MTV Latino, until then, exclusively reserved to Rock, Pop and ballads from South American and Spaniard bands and soloists. Rumbera, was filmed in Super 16mm and premiered in Havana, Cuba during the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, 1994. At the time, Willy Chirino just as Olga Guillot, and several other Cuban artists were blacklisted in their homeland.Dale Pascual (Warner Music Group) by the Argentine pop-group "Los enanitos verdes" was shot in 35mm in La Cava, 27 miles North of CABA. The song speacks of the hardships of the impoverished immigrants living in Argentina. La Cava provided the ideal setting, typical of neo-realism, a recurrent theme on Montes-Bradley's music videos, which emphasized the hard living conditions of the children in poverty. In the film the director staged the crucifixion of a nude boy representing poverty. The image, of a large wooden cross laying against the walls of a public school, with the Argentine flag on a high mast in the background was censored in several countries. "Dale Pascual was the last music video produced and directed by Montes-Bradley.
Child of the Forest: The Story of Yona Bromberg. HFP, 2014. The film documents the memories of Holocaust survivor Yona Bromberg who recalls being herded -along with the rest of the Jews in Rokitno- to the market where the occupying German forces open machine-gun fire killing almost everyone. Yona Bromberg, her mother and sister run for cover into the forest where they survived among other refugees until the arrival of the Soviet Army. "Child of the Forest:" was filmed in Hallandale.
La Ventana de Leon Rozitchner. Independent, 2011. Anecdotical documentary with philosopher León Rozitchner. Shot in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
American Manifesto Avantgarde short film premiered at BAFICI, 2005. Filmed in Denver,during the winter of 1993.
Tríptico Vertical, USA 1986. Not much is known about the nearly fifteen minutes art-documentary made with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo. It was shot in Buenos Aires shortly after the return to democratic rule in 1983. Music by Julio Lacarra.
Montes-Bradley's photography has been recognized by the National Council on Public History with the "Outstanding Public History Project Award" as part of the exhibit "The Mere Distinction of Colour" produced by James Madison's Montpelier. His work appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, La Nacion, The New York Times,The Independent, Deutsche Welle, Diario Clarin other newspapers and magazines as well as commemorative books such as "Escenas de la memoria. La Casa Argentina en la voz de sus antiguos residentes", and "Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center 20th Anniversary". His portraits and filmed interviews with Research and Clinical Faculty are preserved at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, the University of Virginia under The Eduardo Montes-Bradley Photograph and Film Collection.
Awards & Honors
- A Soldier's Dream:
Best Documentary International Historical and Military Films Festival, Warsaw 2018 Best Feature Documentary Port Orchard Film Festival, Seattle, 2019
- The Mere Distinction of Colour Photo Exhibit at James Madison's Montpelier
Outstanding Public History Project Award by the National Council on Public History (shared)
- White: A Season in the Life of John Borden Evans
Best Documentary, “White, a Season in the Life of John Borden Evans”. Richmond International Film Festival. Best Documentary Film 6th International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra Awards, 2017
- Monroe Hill
Jefferson Trust Award Shared with Soledad Liendo, Brown College at Monroe Hill and the Curry School of Education
- Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement
Best Documentary Film 4th Annual Baltimore International Black Film Festival
- Samba on Your Feet
Official Selection Rio International Film Festival, 2006 Official Selection Chicago Latino Film Festival, 2007 Official Selection Buenos Aires International Film Festival, BAFICI 2007 Official Selection Toronto Latino Film Festival, 2007
- Tells of the Helmsman
Best Documentary Silver Cóndor Award, 2002
- Harto The Borges
Official Selection 12e Rencontres Cinémas d'Amerique Latine. Toulouse, Mars 2000.
Official Selection It's All True, International Documentary Film Festival. Rio de Janeiro, April, 1999.
- Other Nominations
Silver Cóndor Nominated.
Appearances in other media
- Margaux Hemingway Bio-documentary on Margaux Hemingway produced for the series E! True Hollywood Story by E! Entertainment Television. USA, 1996.
- Jorge Giannoni. NN, ése soy yo (NN, The One In The Picture Is Me). Documentary film by: Gabriela Jaime on Jorge Giannoni Argentina, 2000.
- Derrumbe. Guebel, Daniel (Fiction). Random House Mondadori, 2012. Eduardo Montes-Bradley is EMB, a fictional character.
- Mis escritores muertos. Guebel, Daniel (Fiction). Random House Mondadori, 2012. Eduardo Montes-Bradley is EMB, a fictional character.
- Zenitram. A film by Luis Barone. Montes-Bradley plays the part of a physician in a surreal context. Argentina, 2010.
- Man maste ju leva. Actor. Directed by Margareta Vinterheden. Sweden, 1978.