Saint Cayetano, The Saint Of The People/Saint Cayetano, El Santo De La Gente

What links a 15 th Century, Venetian intellectual and cleric with the popular politics of 20 th Century Argentina? This documentary explores how Gaetano de Thiene, absorbed, with charitable works, religious orthodoxy and mysticism to become an iconic figure for the working class of Buenos Aires and Argentina, through the decades of Peronism and Junta. The film first examines the life of Gaetano and his socio-political significance in the context of his times. Then, with the use of fascinating archive material, the mass immigration of Italian labour into Argentina. The subsequent struggles for the soul of the nation are also documented. From this, emerges a telling account of the ambiguous position of ‘Saint Cayetano’ as both figurehead for the oppressed masses and, for the ruling classes, as a useful means of distracting the people: a very Argentinean story. The film ends with amazing footage of the simultaneous celebrations of Saint Cayetano in Naples and in Buenos Aires including the pilgrimage of more than a million Argentineans to the Church of San Cayetano.

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