A graduate of the National School of Experimentation and Filmmaking from Argentina, director Lucas Santa Ana is a filmmaker that seems to be looking to have his directorial own trademark by crafting ironic film titles. Scorsese has his Rolling Stones music. Tarantino has his dialogue. Slowly but surely, we’ll have Lucas Santa Ana as a known name who has his film titles. His previous feature film Bromance depicts two young men that have a nonsexual relationship, or a bromance as the title suggests, that evolves into something more. Before Bromance became a feature film, its script was selected for the script contest at the La Habana International Film Festival back in 2006.
After finally making Bromance back in 2016 and doing a handful of short films beforehand, he then worked on his latest film, the powerful documentary Carlos Jauregui: The Unforgettable Fag which shines a light on a man who was a pioneer for LGBTQ+ rights in Argentina. While Carlos Jauregui may not exactly be unforgettable since he’s not even well-known in his own country, Santa Ana makes sure that more he does live up to the film’s title since he is the most important gay rights activist in Argentinean history who demonstrated non-radical activism to achieve both equality and normalization of the LGBTQ+ community.
“He was the first man to be public when he posed for the cover of a magazine in the 80’s hugging another man,” says Santa Ana. “They exposed homosexuality and how hard it was at that time.”
At the time gay people would be arrested if they were found at nightclubs or for simply holding hands on the streets. This level of discrimination, along with the gay activism he was influenced by in both the U.S. and Europe, inspired Jauregui to create the group known as Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA) (Argentinean Homosexual Community), a group dedicated to fighting discrimination and making homosexuals more visible. Jauregui was also one of the organizers of the first Pride Parade in Buenos Aires in the 90’s.
Over the course of his activism, Jauregui joined forces with other organizations in the LGBTQ+ community like Transsexuals For The Right To Life And Identity (TRANSDEVI), Lesbians Convocation, and the Gay Lesbian Argentina Integration Society. Together, they all used protesting as one of their greatest weapons against established figures like the former Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of Argentina named Cardinal Antonio Quarracino.
In a prejudiced manner, Quarracino would say that the gay community should live in their own community and form their own legislations so they can be cut off from normal civilization. But once Jauregui, CHA, and the other organizations he collaborated with retaliated with protest, Quarracino quickly apologized for his words.
However, according to Santa Ana, “His most important accomplishment was adding the words “sexual orientation” in a paragraph regarding discrimination to the Buenos Aires city’s constitution.”
Sadly, Jauregui could not witness this accomplishment because this took place after his tragic passing caused by HIV.
Aside from Carlos Jauregui: The Unforgettable Fag demonstrating the life story of a man who has achieved significant milestones for the LGBTQ+ community despite a lack of notoriety, another thing about it that’s significant is the title’s use of the word “fag.” “Fag” is normally used for discriminatory purposes and is even used to discriminate heterosexuals. But Santa Ana and his co-writer Gustavo Pecoraro wanted to refer to an accomplished man as that word so that people can avoid using it as a harmful epithet. We don’t live in a world where the word “fag” is used less and less as an insult but both filmmakers are still hopeful.
“Yes, this is utopia. But hey, we live on hope.” says Santa Ana. “So we hope someday, the word won’t be used to discriminate as we hope for discrimination to be over some day.”
Santa Ana still remains hopeful that he becomes more of a prolific name in Argentina and apparently, there are signs he sees which indicate that more people will know about his story.
“There is a square that has his name, and after the movie was finished, a subway station that has his name. My hope is that his life story can be known all around the world,” says Santa Ana.
Carlos Jauregui helped start the gay movement in Argentina and his fight for equality for the LGBTQIA+ community lives on after his death. If more people see Carlos Jauregui: The Unforgettable Fag, here’s hoping that they replicate his tactics in this ongoing fight.
Read our film review (in Spanish) on Carlos Jauregui: The Unforgettable Fag
All pictures reproduced courtesy of Lucas Santa Ana