Rompan Todo is the new documentary on the history of Latin American music. Photo: Netflix.
Rompan Todo is a new documentary on the history of Latin American music. Photo: Netflix.

'Rompan Todo': A Documentary Full of 'Saudade'

¿Donde andabas cuando la movida? If you want a curious class on musical history or simply to immerse yourself in nostalgia, this is the documentary to see.


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Rompan Todo: The History of Rock in Latin America is a new, six episodes mini-series on Netflix, that tracks the history of rock-and-roll in Latin America through some of the industry's elder statesmen. Created by the Argentine film director Nicolás Entel and Picky Talaico with the Red Creek Productions, the elderly protagonists try to trace the genealogies of the last 50 years, from the very origins of rock in Latin America.

As a documentary, it works in two ways for the American streaming giant.

On one hand, it is part of a strategy to expand to the Latino audience, especially subscribers in Mexico and Argentina, which is now in addition to new children's film from Robert Rodriguez and Selena Quintillana's series.

On the other, it works as an extension of Netflix's catalog of music documentaries, which many could already see in the series, Hip-Hop Evolution, and became more and more comprehensive as the seasons went by.

'Saudade' is a Brazilian word to refer to a very specific type of nostalgia and is what one can feel in the documentary.

In the current political panorama, one can no longer imagine that there will be any more funky asides. All the rebellion is shattered by decades of horrible repression, the other face of the documentary, while we contemplate the demonization of the rockers amid the tragic turn from Allende to Pinochet.

It is a documentary that seems only to narrate change as if Latin American rock had never taken a break, fluid in terms of regimes that prevented the establishment of a status quo over time.

Between constant shots of jacks, images of hippies, rockers, and punks populating the highways, or the images of chaos at the Rock and Wheels Festival of Avandaro, we see the masterful theft that allows for the infusion of so much personality into what becomes true Latino identity.

The images of Buenos Aires and Mexico City are superimposed on songs we have all heard from Soda Estereo or Selena Quintillana without forgetting the scenes in Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile. There is also unreleased footage by Alberto Spinetta or Charly García and more contemporary figures such as the Mexican Julieta Venegas or Rita Guerrero. 

Does it have any downsides? Yes, many. The absence of more Afro-Latinos and Latina women is glaring. There is a very large portion of history, but there are still many voices missing from what was a musical revolution and a political-cultural war.

Many countries are also missing from focus, such as rockers of Colombia, Venezuela, Panama.


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