The Making Of — страница 2

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marriage to Juan Per?n to cover up the fact that Eva was illegitimate. When Eva was less than a year old, her father left her mother to return to his legal family in Chivilcoy. His departure left his ?other? family impoverished. In order to feed her children, Juana began sewing clothes for people in the village. Rumors and innuendo about Eva?s mother and her ?kept? status were a continuing shadow to Juana. When Eva was six years old her father Juan Duarte was killed in an automobile accident. Packing up all of the children, Do?a Juana headed off to Chivilcoy to attend the funeral. After arriving at the door of the ?legal? widow of Duarte, she was summarily dismissed and sent on her way. Do?a Juana went to the wife?s brother and pleaded with him to let her children view their

father. In the end the children were allowed to enter the house and pay their respects. During the funeral procession they were given permission to walk at the rear, behind all of the other mourners. This event probably opened Eva eyes to her own illegitimacy. It is said that neither her, nor any of her sisters, was able to accept that they were illegitimate. In 1972 one of the sisters wrote that her mother and father were married and together at the time of his death. She even went so far as to say he was there to kiss them goodnight the evening before his accident. Although Eva was too young to understand everything that was happening during this time, she would probably never forget what it was like to view her family through the eyes of others. I think that this event

influenced Eva for the rest of her life. Eva became determined to be somebody different than what other people expected her to become. A bastard child of a dead man wasn?t going to go anywhere in the world, so Eva reinvented her history in order to shatter her perceived destiny. JUNIN When Eva was ten years old, her mother found a new ?protector? and moved the family to the provincial town of Junin. Junin was a city compared to Los Toldos with its paved streets, shops, and cinema. When the local children were not in school, they would run down to the railway station to watch the Buenos Aires locomotive arrive or go to the cinema. Even in Junin, the children of Juan Duarte could not escape their past. Eva did find one kindred soul in her best friend Elsa. Elsa was an orphan who

was raised by her two aunts. In speaking about Eva in later years, Elsa said that Eva was ?sweet, very loving? but the other girls were told not to speak to Eva because of ?what her mother was?. Like most children of twelve, this rejection was hard on Eva, and helped fire her determination later to wipe out all vestiges of her past humiliations. On Tuesdays the local cinemas would run special discounted rates. Many times Eva saved her money to spend it on a matinee. The imports from Europe and America were the favorites. They always seemed so glamorous, and depicted stories that appealed to the young ladies. The films were full of elegant clothing and beautiful people. It was a world any young girl would want to be a part of. Eva was not immune to the lure of the silver screen.

Eva?s first break into the acting scene happened at the tender age of thirteen. She was cast in a small part in the local school production of Arriba Estudiantes (Student Arise). From that time on, her only goal was to leave Junin and become a great film actress. There were several film magazines for Eva to read and study. A popular tabloid of the time was the Sinton?a. Eva and her friends would cut the pictures out and trade them. One of Eva?s favorite movie stars at the time was Norma Shearer, a poor Canadian who made it big in Hollywood. In later years Eva would be quoted saying: In the place where I spent my childhood, there were more poor people than rich, but I made myself believe that there were other places in my country and in the world where things could happen in some

other way?I imagined, for instance, that large cities were marvelous places where only wealth existed; and everything I heard about them from other people confirmed that belief. They talked about the great city as if it were a wonderful paradise where everything was beautiful?I seemed to feel, from what they said that people there were more really people than those I saw around me in my town. Eva knew that the only place she could realistically become a star, was 150 miles across the pampas, in Buenos Aires. At fifteen she was determined to ?shake the pampas dust from her shoes? and head to the concrete paradise of her dreams. Her chance came in the form of a young handsome tango singer named Agustin Magaldi. Magaldi was in Junin performing at the local theatre. The story from