Muchacho que vas militando: Stardom, Youth Culture, and Politics in Palito Ortega Films (1970–1975)

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1 Scopus citations


Scholars of Argentine cinema have engaged extensively with the oppositional politics of the Nuevo Cine of the 1960s and ’70s, but much less with the cinema of that time that offered support to more conservative politics. In the interest of better understanding such support in mass culture, this essay contextualises the films made between 1970 and 1975 that star the pop idol Ramón “Palito” Ortega and examines how his star persona–which had been constructed through television, songs, magazines, and films–evolves through the first half of the decade, asking how this evolution is significant in the period’s turbulent context. In the films, Ortega functions as an avatar for a conservative bourgeois morality by delegitimising practices associated with, first, modern youth culture, then, after 1973, specific politically left practices, while exalting traditional practices that support social hierarchies compatible with the Peronist conservative orthodoxy. The essay finds that this process of politicisation runs from nostalgic nationalist reaction against modern internationalising youth culture to, with the legalisation and return to power of Peronism, examples of matter-of-fact anti-Communism and veiled anti-Semitism in affinity with the conspiracy theories propagated by the Far Right that took power in the pre-dictatorship period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-131
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Argentina
  • Palito Ortega
  • Peronism 1970s
  • commercial cinema
  • nationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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