It was stated in Stephen Hart’s article, ‘Camila’, A Companion to Latin American Film, that Maria Bemberg said “I want a melodrama…Camila was shot in a highly romantic style because I felt that in that way I could really hit the audience in their heart, and in the pit of their stomach.” It was anything but difficult to achieve this feeling after watching the film about the lover’s tragic ending at love. After reading articles presented over Bemberg’s film it can be understood that the film was made to attract the attention of the audience in a sorrowful and seductive admiration towards the characters way to deliberately undermine the authoritative government at that time. The film was not exactly done in accurate historical standards but can give the impression that while attempting to recreate a love-drama film, it does examine, in some instances, the over-all portrayal of social hierarchy in the nineteenth century of Argentina. For one instance it does noticeably reenact the patriarchal authority of the household by having Camila’s father, Adolfo O’Gorman, carry out his fatherly behavior at the beginning of the movie towards the grandmother and her previous condemned actions as well as other circumstances of showing his authority towards Camila such as her outburst at the table and his demand for her leave, and the insistency of her marrying Ignacio, whom she is not in love with. In Elizabeth Dore’s article, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, she explains the significance and the utter importance of the patriarchal system in the nineteenth century and into much of the twentieth century. In ways which the film inaccurately portrays Adolfo’s character is definitely after Camila and Ladislao have run away and he writes a letter to Juan Manuel de Rosas, the dictator leader at this time. In the film he seems irate and so ashamed that he wouldn’t think twice about condemning his own daughter to death, but according to Donald F. Stevens’ article, Passion and Patriarchy In Nineteenth-Century Argentina, he states that this letter to Rosas is not entirely accurate. Adolfo actually waited five days, even after finding out four days late to begin with, before sending his letter in hoping that Camila would come back and the family name and reputation would continue to be intact. The film also portrays this letter as a complete betrayal of a father’s love for his daughter when in reality he kept Camila’s name out of the letter, also hoping to keep their family’s reputation pure, but also putting most, if not all of the blame on Ladislao and not his daughter. Rosas completely ruins this attempt at restoring the family by criticizing and publicly revealing Camila and Ladislao’s true identity, showing no understanding or sympathy towards the O’Gorman family.
Back to Elizabeth Dore’s article and her explanation of the patriarchal authority, she states that “State theory in the colonial era rested on the principle that a well-ordered society was composed of well-ruled families.” She goes on to compare the state and government leader to a father of a household in that “like all good fathers, he rewarded his children when they behaved well and punished them when they behaved badly.” This statement and understanding puts into perspective the why Rosas made the unbelievably unethical decisions he made for the executions of Camila and Ladislao. With Valentin Alsina, the Argentinian that was exiled to Uruguay for his opposition of Rosas, criticizing Rosas ”failure to control his subordinates, both in his own family and in the larger society,” the film makes an accurate attempt at portraying Rosas heartless decision towards the situation in trying to keep this facade of control over the people of Argentina.
Overall, the film makes both accuracies and inaccuracies in comparison to actual history. In the general story of two lover’s “struggle between patriarchy and passion”, (Stevens, pg. 86) Bemberg admitted to changing the plot around a little in order to appeal to her audience. In the film’s actions towards depicting the idea of the social order under a dictatorship in Argentina in the nineteenth century, it is very close to accurate.