Mariano Pensotti – Grupo Marea

La obra (The Play)


The performance La obra draws on the “true story” of Simon Frank, a Polish-Jewish man and last survivor of the Holocaust in his family who moves to an Argentinean village in the 1960s. He starts building a huge theatrical scenery, re-enacting scenes from the town where he grew up as well as the concentration camp where his family was murdered. His monologue, covering his entire life since his childhood, is gradually interspersed with the reconstruction of true places and events, featuring countless local villagers as extras. The village eventually becomes famous thanks to this attraction. Nevertheless, many years later it is revealed that the Polish-Jewish man was not exactly the man he claimed to be.

In his productions, internationally acclaimed, avant-garde Argentinean director Mariano Pensotti focuses on the relationship between documentary and fiction, fantasy and reality, frequently drawing on his own life or that of his collaborators. In La obra, he invokes another theatre director as his alter ego: Walid Mansour. According to the plot, Mansour comes to Argentina precisely in order to stage a performance drawing on the narratives of the villagers who participated in Simon Frank’s play, exposing how this experience affected their lives. This kaleidoscopic perspective makes us question our certainties, both on the meaning of “perpetrator” and “victim” today and on the very meaning of re-enactment.