Gavilán served in the Los Cabitos 51 barracks in Huanta for almost a decade, learned to speak Spanish, read and write, and when he finished school he joined the Franciscan Order. Finally, he studied a master’s degree in Anthropology at the Universidad Iberoamericana de México, where he lived for several years and wrote “Memoirs of an Unknown Soldier”, an autobiographical novel that has been adapted for the big screen by Mario Vargas Llosa, the Nobel Prize for Literature and the film director Luis Llosa under the title “Tattoos in memory”, which is a phrase taken from the book.
Co-directed by Luis Llosa and Andrea Tudela, the film was shot from October 24 to November 20, 2022 in Huanta, Huamanguilla and Quinua; Ayacucho cities and towns where the real story took place. Its protagonists are Cristhian Esquivel as Lieutenant Shogún and the minor Carlos Taipe as Lurgio Gavilán.
The actor who played Moctezuma II in “Carlos, King Emperor” and Tupac Amaru II in “The Other Liberators” was chosen to be part of this powerful film proposal through a rigorous casting in which actors from all over the country participated.
“My character, Lieutenant Shogun, is important in the story because without him it wouldn’t exist, he has enormous contrasts, he’s incredible. We have already finished recording it, it was spectacular, we have felt such a need to tell it that I think it will go deep into the memory, into the memory of Peruvians, especially those of us who have lived through that terrible time”, highlights Esquivel.
“There are shocking, strong, emotional, real scenes that take us back to the hard times of terrorism in Peru.. It is a tremendous, instructive story, in which human life prevails in the midst of internal warfare. The script, which has the masterful touch of Lucho Llosa and the entire team, during the tour lifts you up, lowers you, squeezes your neck, takes you fars”, warns the actor.
Before starting the recordings, Cristhian Esquivel contacted Lurgio Gavilán through social networks to delve into his story and personally express his admiration and respect.
“I wanted to meet him, I had seen the more than 30 interviews he gave to major international channels and national media, so I looked him up, told him who he was, what role he was going to have in the film, and we agreed to meet. We met in a cafe, in Huamanga, it was an incredible meeting that I will remember forever, we hugged, we laughed, he gave me his autographed book“, remember.
“Talking with him allowed me to give my interpretation more realism, it helped me convey what he lived through with Lieutenant Shogun. During the conversation he always brought out that he was like a blessed presence, who extended his hand to him so he wouldn’t die. Until now he wonders why Shogun saved his life, perhaps he saw himself reflected in him. As an actor it has been a work of value, of greatness of life, I gave it the importance that human life should have. The good thing about the film is that it does not judge, nor does it have a position, it only presents both realities”, he clarifies.
In order to build Shogún, in addition to resorting to Lurgio, Esquivel contacted soldiers close to him and in Ayacucho he received training in handling weapons.
“We spent a couple of days in a barracks, they taught us the attitude and the vocabulary that all soldiers use. It has been very rich to be part of this project in which there are scenes that mark you, of conflict that cause fear”, he points out.
It also highlights the pain and open wounds that prevail in some victims of terrorism. In Ayacucho -Esquivel agrees- there is still fear and mistrust.
“It is a very suffered land, with a lot of blood spilled. People who lost relatives, young children, parents, siblings, have not yet recovered. When they saw us arrive dressed up, some as guerrillas and others as soldiers, they were overwhelmed, they hid, they asked what is happening. There is much desolation and open wounds”, he emphasizes.
“Tattoos in Memory” is currently in the post-production stage. It still does not have a release date, but everything indicates that it will arrive next yearafter appearing in different international festivals.
I have worked as a journalist for over 10 years and have written for various news outlets. I currently work as an author at 24 News Recorder, mostly covering entertainment news. I have a keen interest in the industry and enjoy writing about the latest news and gossip. I am also a member of the National Association of Journalists.