Lucía Puenzo premieres her latest series in Argentina and prepares the filming of another for Apple

His last name is synonymous with cinema; especially in Argentina. Lucía Puenzo is the daughter of Luis Puenzo, and both she and her other three brothers of hers –Nicolás, Esteban and Sebastián–, move professionally in the audiovisual industry.

With several films to her credit and already two closed seasons of the Jauría series and months after the premiere of La caída, a film that premiered on one of the platforms, Lucía is happy because in Argentina it can be seen starting this Sunday on Lifetime, the first season of Señorita 89, the series that she filmed in Mexico and for whose direction she was summoned by the most international directors and producers in Chile, the brothers Pedro and Juan Larraín. In turn, they produce Los impactados, a film whose editing is in process. And on her work agenda there is more. As Lucía Puenzo explained to PERFIL, “I am closing the edition of a series that I filmed in Mexico a few months ago, then I go to Chiapas to start another pre-production; and at the same time, adapting Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road; and another French novel that Apple commissioned me to film at the Paris Opera.”

—Films and series that an Argentine director like you makes for a global audience. Does that mean that the concept of “global content” is true, that is, the combination of local concepts, but that it can be understood by global audiences?

“And yes… that’s true.” A few years ago, for example, from the United States they seem to have understood that the gringo public can indeed watch movies and series that are not in English. They have started looking for products in Spanish and the more local the better. And they are also fashions. On the other hand, educating viewers from different countries to watch series and movies in their original language is something that is built little by little. I am lucky to be able to write and edit my series and movies, to be able to choose their teams and casts. Editing all the series in Buenos Aires, with teams of editors with whom they worked years ago, is not something minor… In such large structures it is the place where the authorial brand of a story can be most defended and where the general pulse is the same from start to finish.

—And how does “Miss 89” reach you, whose plot. focused on a beauty pageant in Mexico, seems distant to Argentina?

—The Larraín brothers came up with this proposal to tell a political thriller in the 90s in Mexico, in the golden age of Televisa (N. de la R: the most powerful television company in Mexico). With my team we entered the project with all our prejudices about beauty pageants. We quickly realized that Señorita 89 could be much more of a political thriller about what power was doing to young women in the 1990s in Mexico or anywhere in Latin America.

—Why do you say “anywhere in America…”?

—Because I still remember being a child, I sat in front of the television and there was a driver who made 40 rating points and cut the girls’ skirts. We all laughed, and we were entire families watching what, beyond the fact that it was not a beauty pageant like in Señorita 89, the normalization of how young women were used in the media in our country was similar.

—Taking into account “Jauría” and “La caída”, is it a decision to choose projects that describe different forms of machismo?

“On the one hand, yes, I would be blind not to see it. On the other hand, I do not seek to spin stories with the same thematic axis, although yes, over the last few years, the stories we write are not arbitrary, there are many in different areas that, oh coincidence!, come across situations like that of the titles you mention.

—And what is the repercussion in Mexico in particular of “Miss 89”?

—The series made a lot of noise and did very well both in Mexico and, for example, in Europe when it was released by the BBC. It was also seen a lot throughout Latin America and the United States. For me it is a joy that it can also be seen in Argentina.

—For something in particular, did the Larraín brothers want the 90s frame for “Miss 89”?

—It was more of an attack point with which we could do anything. What happened to me in the 90s with the issue of building the media in Mexico is that Televisa was the figurehead for the rest of the media in Latin America. And in turn, it is where the threads remain most exposed. In other words, for example, half of a country was made invisible by building soap operas and beauty pageants with the setting of a white, blond, light-eyed and heterosexual Mexico, when more than half of the country is not like that. On that television some political issues were not counted either and others were. That construction of an official story was obscene. I am writing the life of Emilio “El Tigre” Azcárraga –deceased owner of Televisa and who was the most powerful businessman in Mexico–, and his story that crosses all the media conglomerates in Latin America. It is something like the story of the “Latin American Murdoch”. There is not just a media issue there; it is a political construction in our continent. From there the political guidelines of our country were lowered. What can make more contact than this story with what is happening in Argentina’s political present?

—And what is “Los impactados” about, the film you are finishing editing?

—It has to do with survivors of lightning strikes; There are groups all over the world and also in Argentina. It is a very close universe, but very unknown. Many of them have electrophilia, which is an addiction to electricity.

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