What is Carlos Tevez best known for?


Fuerte Apache block in the Ejército de los Andes district Photo: Gabricocek (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The biographical mini-series has been running on Netflix since December Apache, a season with eight episodes about the life of the Argentine soccer world star Carlos Tevez. Tevez is one of the many revered folk heroes of Argentina and perhaps the one who comes closest to the inviolable Maradona - with fewer scandals, however. Just like “Diego” from a poor background, Tevez achieved world fame through his goals at the Boca Juniors football club. In the Netflix series that begins with Tevez's accident as an infant and his first game in the legendary Bombonera, the stadium of Boca Juniors ends, football plays a rather subordinate role. That is the clear protagonist of the series Barrio, the neighborhood in which Tevez grew up, with the real name Ejército de los Andes, but notorious under the name Fuerte Apache. A marginalized high-rise block in the Conurbano, the poor western foothills of the greater Buenos Aires area, located on the edge of the General Paz, an expressway that separates the city of Buenos Aires from the province of the same name. Dozens of ten-story towers, where around 35,000 people live, crowd seven square kilometers. Once built as an urban development project by the military dictatorship for the forcible resettlement of the residents of Buenos Aires' largest slum, Villa 31, whose houses were bulldozed, it was soon decried as the "most dangerous" or "deadliest" district of Buenos Aires .

Clichés of crime and glue sniffing

The series uses every cliché that can be associated with a poor district: drug mafia, cocaine, crime and glue sniffing, excessive alcohol, weapons, violence, machismo and revenge. In addition neglect, hunger, unemployment, frustration and no future. In the midst of this scene, between shootings and the football field, the young Carlitos Tevez grows up. In addition to the sometimes highly exaggerated and implausible supporting actors and actions of the neighborhood drug gangs, the main actors - Carlos steller family - show a very sensitive acting performance and give the series a certain gentleness that actually makes it a successful family drama. It becomes clear that the support and care of Carlos ‘family is paramount to his realization as a professional footballer. This shows another important storyline, the friendship between Carlitos and Danílo, called "Uruguayo", which develops asymmetrically from a common starting point and ends in ascent and abyss. It is poverty that kills the dreams and opportunities of the youth in the neighborhood every day. The message is: If you don't escape in time, sooner or later you end up in jail or dead. Sport is often one of the few possible ways out.

Despite all the clichés, Apache is a typical Netflix series with a binge-watching alarm. It is their strength that Apache was filmed in Fuerte itself. The district gives the series an aesthetic that is well worth seeing due to its own strong character and architectural peculiarities. And it's a plus that some of the cast comes from the neighborhood itself.

Criticism of the morbid fascination with the "poor"

The director is the master of the new Argentine cinema, Adrián Caetano (a.o. Pizza, Birra, Faso; 1996 / La crónica de una fuga, 2006), who in recent years has tried his hand at various series with a tendency to romanticize the marginalized. These are exciting, but rightly arouse criticism of the morbid fascination of the “poor”, whereby exaggerated bizarre representations often come across as “reality”. Apache is also inspired by true events from Carlitos Tevez's childhood, takes on many references to real characters and youth gangs that existed in the 80s, but spiced up with a good portion of fiction, Rambo fantasies and a pinch of youthful love stories.

If director Caetano - or producer Tevez - had wanted to make the series a bit more political, they would not only have limited the depictions of violence to the residents of the district, but also pointed out the police violence and their everyday repression of slum dwellers and poor people, the arbitrary The shooting of young people and the significant involvement of the police in the drug business. Or they would have turned a few others apart from Carlos and his social parents into positive characters, because almost all the other characters are somehow dodgy, evil, dirty, unpredictable. Carlos, on the other hand, is (of course) very popular with the series, lovable, modest, loyal, simple - the same image that he has in international football, e.g. B. in contrast to superstar Messi has and what makes him so popular.

As you can see in the comment columns, it does not seem unusual to be in the mood for more after the series has ended and to look at Tevez's 25 most beautiful goals on YouTube or for further references to her mythical protagonist, the Barrio Fuerte Apache and its most famous player to search. If you are interested in the history of the district and understand Spanish, you can also follow the short documentary on YouTube Time llamado are looking for a report that is more realistic and more critical from the point of view of the residents.

Series hype and reality poverty tourism

According to interviews, Tevez continues to return to his neighborhood as a multimillionaire. When he visits his friends there, they insist on inviting him to dinner, he says and begins to cry. Impossible, on the other hand, is a video of the high-class celebrity and Macri friend Susana Giménez, who is taking a "trip" to Fuerte Apache with Tevez after the series hype. thinks “brilliant” and “pretty”. On classic Argentine television, she usually only has contempt for the people who live in the marginalized neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and are seen as criminals, if at all. However, Tevez remains as always, friendly and personable to everyone, simply knitted and still the boy from the barrio who knows how to market himself and whose world events are attended by dozens of siblings, aunts and uncles who then do not fit into the Porsche. But who also wants to convey a different view of his quarter and the people who live in it. In any case, he processed his love for Fuerte Apache in his series in a very worth seeing and credible manner and perhaps through his popularity made a contribution to countering the stigma and prejudices that weigh down on many people in marginalized neighborhoods.