Gatica the Monkey (Gatica el Mono)

Director: Leonardo Favio
Screenwriters: Leonardo Favio, Zuhair Jury

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Leonardo Favio is better known outside his own country as a pop singer than a filmmaker. He made the biggest-selling Argentine record in history. But only a few know that he also made the most profitable film in Argentine history, Nazareno (1974). Inside Argentina Leonardo Favio is regarded as the best, perhaps the one original, in Argentine cinema.

Gatica the Monkey recreates the life of José Maria Gatica, a boxer from the late 1940s. Gatica is an illiterate boy who makes it into the big city during the first Peron government and becomes a popular hero. He leads a tumultuous life in the forefront of a tumultuous country. Favio works with the folkloric, mythical aura of Gatica’s character in a lyrical, daring, and unexpected way.

Favio’s films have been extraordinarily popular in Argentina, maybe because he has kept his sensibility rooted in provincial life. Favio may also be misunderstood because he is an idiosyncratic and unpredictable artist. Many things can be said about him and his films, but nobody can deny the force of his personal vision. He is an incredible and original talent who takes risks. Gatica the Monkey is his latest example.

— Patricia Cardoso Mantilla

Screening Details

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