The first pornographic film would have been shot in Argentina. This theory, supported by several of the leading specialists on the subject, states that this country was also a nerve center in the creation of this kind of films during the silent period. The production, however, was not limited to movies of sexual explicit content, but it also included erotic films that trascended the underground brothel circuits, reaching sometimes the most selected commercial cinemas in the country. Despite the few examples that have survived and the exiguous and uncertain information that exists about them, this paper attempts to unravel some of the myths and truths surrounding the birth of this kind of films in Argentina. Based on a thorough research on film and paper sources, we propose a tour of the early milestones of the genre and its always troublesome relation to censorship, which drove the vernacular directors to resort to fine arts, literature, theater and even science to cover up the scandalous subjects of these films. Halfway between lust and high culture, between vaudeville and education, this almost unknown filmography includes some of the most interesting and innovative local films of this period.
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Author Name: Andrea Cuarterolo
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Keywords: pornographic cinema, erotic cinema, early Argentine cinema, censorship, El satario.