Blessed by Fire

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Blessed by Fire
Iluminados por el fuego
Directed by Tristán Bauer
Produced by Ana de Skalon
Carlos Ruta
Written by Tristán Bauer
Miguel Bonasso
Gustavo Romero Borri
Based on Iluminados por el fuego 
by Edgardo Esteban with collaboration of Gustavo Romero Borri
Starring Gastón Pauls
Pablo Ribba
César Albarracín
Hugo Carrizo
Music by León Gieco
Cinematography Javier Julia
Edited by Alejandro Brodersohn
Distributed by Distribution Company
Soda Pictures (United Kingdom)
Release dates
September 8, 2005 (2005-09-08)
Running time
100 minutes
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

Blessed by Fire (Spanish: Iluminados por el fuego) (2005) is an Argentine film about the Falklands War written and directed by Tristán Bauer. The film features Gastón Pauls, Pablo Ribba, César Albarracín and Hugo Carrizo among others. It is based on a book written by a veteran of the war.

The film was nominated for 22 awards and won 14 of them.


A powerful Argentine anti-war film in the tradition of American Vietnam war films such as Full Metal Jacket and Coming Home, Blessed By Fire is the story of two young men who were sent to fight the 1982 war in the Falkland Islands (or as they are known in Argentina, Las Malvinas) and who return home bearing the brutal scars of war.

Twenty years after the war's end, journalist Esteban Leguizamón (Gastón Pauls) is informed that Alberto Vargas (Pablo Ribba), one of the men he served with, has attempted suicide after suffering from years of depression brought on by his experiences in the war. Esteban visits the comatose Vargas at the hospital, and in a series of extended flashbacks, revisits the scene of Argentina's "unwinnable war."

The film depicts Esteban and fellow soldiers Vargas (Pablo Ribba, the man in the coma) and Juan (Cesar Albarracin), who are living in foxholes on the remote, windswept Falklands, battling hunger, boredom, abuse, and the deprivations of war as they await the arrival of British forces. A series of harrowing battle scenes with British forces ensues, and the Argentines realise the futility and violence of their mission. They are cannon fodder, pawns in a futile political game.

Back in the present, Esteban returns to the Falklands to come to terms with himself and the past. The emotional final scenes were shot on location in the Falklands, for the first time in Argentine film. As Esteban looks over the still off-limits battlefields filled with mines, live ammunition, and rusting military equipment, the futility of war is abundantly clear.



The film was shown on the Australian TV channel SBS on March 17, 2009.


Silver Condor: Graciela Fraguglia, Alejandro Brodersohn, Tristán Bauer, Edgardo Esteban, Miguel Bonasso, Gustavo Romero Borri, Virginia Innocenti.

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