Through me many long dumb voices,
Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves,
Voices of the diseas'd and despairing and of thieves and dwarfs,
Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion,
And of the threads that connect the stars, and of wombs and of the
And of the rights of them the others are down upon,
Of the deform'd, trivial, flat, foolish, despised,
Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.
Biographers Fraser and Navarro wrote that Eva Perón has often been credited with gaining for Argentine women the right to vote. While Eva did make radio addresses in support of women's suffrage and also published articles in her Democracia newspaper asking male Peronists to support women's right to vote, ultimately the ability to grant to women the right to vote was beyond Eva's powers. Fraser and Navarro claim that Eva's actions were limited to supporting a bill introduced by one of her supporters, Eduardo Colom, a bill which was eventually dropped. A new bill in support of women's suffrage was introduced which the sanctioned on 21 August 1946, and it was necessary to wait for more than a year before the House of Representatives could sanction it on 9 September 1947. Law 13,010, established the equality of political rights between men and women and universal suffrage in Argentina. Finally, Law 13,010 was approved unanimously. In a public celebration and ceremony, however, Juan Perón signed the law granting women the right to vote, and then he handed the bill to Eva, symbolically making it hers.
I then visited seven other countries before determining a strategy. I decided to start filming in Buenos Aires, and then move to Budapest, where I thought we could accurately replicate the once beautiful European architecture of Buenos Aires in the thirties and forties, which has since been decimated and replaced by hideous and mindless structures. (Filming any historical recreation of this nature would have been difficult even with complete cooperation.) Whether our stay in Buenos Aires would be shorter or longer than two weeks depended on the irate Peronistas who thought our project heretical and Madonna unsuitable to play their “Santa Evita.”
In his essay titled "Latin America" published in The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners also claims that the appeal and success of Eva Perón can be related in terms of Latin American mythology and concepts of divinity. McManners even claims that Eva Perón consciously incorporated aspects of the mythology of the and of into her public persona. Historian Hubert Herring has described Eva Perón as "Perhaps the shrewdest woman yet to appear in public life in Latin America."
Even if we only filmed there for a few weeks, I was determined to shoot something in Argentina. I had visited Eva’s birthplace of Los Toldos, the town of Junín where she grew up, and Chivilcoy where her father’s funeral took place. At the very least, I would shoot these scenes of Eva’s early life there.
The Sociedad de Beneficencia (Society of Beneficence), a made up of 87 society ladies, was responsible for most charity works in Buenos Aires prior to the election of Juan Perón. Fraser and Navarro write that at one point the Sociedad had been an enlightened institution, caring for and homeless women, but that those days had long since passed by the time of the first term of Juan Perón. In the 1800s, the Sociedad had been supported by private contributions, largely those of the husbands of the society ladies. But by the 1940s, the Sociedad was supported by the government.
Myself moving forward then and now and forever,
Gathering and showing more always and with velocity,
Infinite and omnigenous, and the like of these among them,
Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers,
Picking out here one that I love, and now go with him on brotherly terms.
For the premiere in Buenos Aires we had to arrive an hour early in order to avoid the threatened protesters who screamed at the ticket holders as they entered the theatre. There was a giant banner that read, (in Spanish) “Alan Parker is a lying rat in the service of the English crown.” The rat was Disney’s Mickey Mouse and the banner was replete with skull and cross bones (as they always referred to me in the press as ‘El Pirato’. I particularly liked that. Possibly pirates are, historically, a more romantic notion to the British than they were to the Spaniards whose gold we kept stealing. The protesters were all bussed in for the evening and arrived late. They were probably having dinner somewhere, over a huge steak, as is the custom, chatting about the various ways they could disembowel me and lost track of the time. The Argentine Vice President, Carlos Ruckauf (Menem was conveniently on a tour of South East Asia) called for a boycott of the film, which caused an even bigger fuss. In one paper, an extremist Peronista Commando even challenged me to a duel with weapons of my choice.
In New York, Madonna had begun work with the esteemed vocal coach, Joan Lader. She was determined to sing the demanding score as Andrew had written it, and not to cheat in any way. Within three months she expanded her vocal range, finding parts of her voice that she had never used before in her own songs. She had also learned the Evita score from musical supervisor David Caddick, who has worked with Andrew for many years as musical director on his shows.
In September, Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Pryce and Jimmy Nail (who plays tango singer Agustín Magaldi) began rehearsals with me in London. My approach to this unusual film genre—being as it is a completely sung-through piece with no conventional dialogue—I was convinced should be as naturalistic as possible, its only theatricality being the fact that it’s sung and not spoken. Any other choices made I felt should be the same as if I were doing a normal dramatic film. (To this end, Madonna dragged Jimmy around the studio, bashing him with her suitcase, as we enacted the scenes as they were written in the script. Mindful of the fact that Jimmy, in his youth, was once in prison for causing grievous bodily harm, I feared for the consequences. However, he was a paragon of English good manners, quietly suffering the bruises inflicted on him. Rumor has it that Jimmy, an avid Newcastle United football fanatic, perhaps only did the film because he thought Maradonna was in it.)
Nicaragua’s strongest smallholder coffee cooperatives have organized collectively and have linked to certified Fair Trade coffee as an important component of their organizational development strategy13. After working together on a successful coffee quality improvement project14, these cooperative unions decided to unite to form the La Asociación de Cooperativas de Pequeños Productores de Café de Nicaragua, CAFENICA, (or The Nicaraguan Association of Smallholder Coffee Cooperatives) to represent their political and economic interests. CAFENICA represents more than 80% of the smallholders affiliated with Fair Trade cooperatives. CAFENICA serves as a platform to lift up smallholder voices and defend their interests. The organization also tries to influence coffee, rural development, and Fair Trade policy at national and international scales. In Nicaragua, CAFENICA has represented smallholder interests in national coffee fairs, rural development policy debates, and as an active contractor for long term research projects. The Nicaraguan cooperatives have used CAFENICA as an umbrella organization to participate in international industry fairs, including the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Hostelco (Spain). Finally, CAFENICA has proven itself to be an effective collective platform for influencing Fair Trade policy.
Eventually, thanks to the older brother's financial help, the family moved into a bigger house, which they would later transform into a boarding house. During this time, young Eva would participate enthusiastically in all of her school plays and concerts. One of her favorite pastimes was the cinema. Though Eva's mother apparently had a few plans for Eva, wanting to marry her off to one of the local bachelors, Eva herself dreamed of becoming a famous actress. Eva's love of acting was reinforced when, in October 1933, she played a small role in a school play called Arriba Estudiantes (Students Arise), which Barnes describes as "an emotional, patriotic, flag-waving melodrama." After the play, she was determined to become a great actress.