Margot Kidder & the Flag - October 17, 1948 – May 13, 2018Monday, May 14, 2018
|Margot Kidder - Photograph - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward|
On 20th June 1965 thousands of Argentine Navy conscript sailors swore allegiance to the flag. I was one of them. We sang our National Anthem and tears came to my eyes. We swore to defend our country, our flag and the constitution.
On June 28 1966 the armed forces surrounded La Casa Rosada (I was there) and a loudspeaker gave President Arturo Illía one hour to vacate the premises. Forty five minutes later he went home by cab.
On the next day the military junta made the constitution void and all political parties were banned.
It was then that I came to realize that a nation’s flag is a trapo (a rag) with the colours of the nations it may represent. My sense of nationalism and patriotism was severely affected.
Now Argentina is suffering hyper-inflation and I can state that my country of birth has two things going for it (and I am proud). There is Messi and Pope Francis.
When we (wife and two daughters) arrived from Mexico City in Vancouver in 1975 my knowledge of Canada was limited. Rosemary had told me about a man called Pierre Trudeau and how to pronounce Quebec (as the que from ¿Qué Pasa?”).
Shortly after I was amazed that my hero William Shatner (I watched La Odisea del Espacio dubbed into Spanish ("¡Señor Espok, Señor Espok, Chihuahua!" in Mexico City) was making Super-Valu ads. That’s when I realized that he was Canadian. I was still too Argentine to take any pride.
Today Margot Kidder died. She appeared in Superman in 1978 but had a career that deteriorated into grave depression. I believe I may have taken this picture at the Park Theatre or the Original Fifth Avenue Theatre. I snapped 8 photographs and in every single one she faced my camera with a tender melancholy that I remembered every time I read about Kidder.
She was a lot younger than I am which puts my mortality further into attention and peril. But I can also sense in myself pride in finally being a Canadian (but not denying my Argentine roots) and believing that she and many others have contributed to this positive thought that I have that perhaps a flag is not a rag but a flag in all its glory.