Performing Bolívar in Jorge Alí Triana’s Film Bolívar Soy Yo (2002)
Bolívar’s continued relevance as a myth and a symbol is unquestionable: political parties, guerrillas and social movements all claim to be inspired by his ideas, related to notions of freedom and social justice. This is at the core of the film Bolívar Soy Yo (Jorge Alí-Triana: 2002), about an actor playing Bolívar for a soap opera who gets so deep into the part that at times believes himself to be Bolívar, with a variety of social actors going along for the sake of co-opting, as it were, this incarnation of the symbol to advance their own agendas. Considering various dimensions of performance, the article traces instances in which the actor performs Bolívar and asks, in each case, what does it mean to “be” Bolívar. It concludes that apart from understanding the film as commentary or criticism, it is also an invitation to action and a celebration of action, emphasising the performative aspect of history.
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