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But she said she didn’t want to make a puff piece, either.

“I didn’t want a movie that promotes only one view. I’ve got enough cinematic ethics to know that my job was not to make a film just for my people, but to make it universal enough to be seen by people with other views,” Ms. de Luque added.

Ms. Fernandez credits her late husband with fostering a model of social inclusion that has reduced extreme poverty, but critics see the couple as serial abusers of power, autocrats whose demagogic populism has enfeebled the country’s institutions.

Many right-wing Peronists have slammed the Kirchners’ center-left model, but Ms. Fernandez now is also getting heat from the left, led by trade unionists who say she is not sharing enough of Argentina’s remaining wealth with them.

And by using central bank reserves to fund social programs rather than make debt payments, Argentina has found itself increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, Mr. Fraga said.

Mr. Bacman, who directs the Center for Public Opinion in Buenos Aires, said it’s still too early to put Nestor Kirchner alongside Juan Peron, who died in 1974.

Peron formed a movement that made working-class people feel represented as he modernized Argentina in the 1940s and 1950s, pushing through worker-friendly laws, giving women the right to vote and fostering a post-war economic boom, Mr. Bacman said.

Kirchner’s defining success was to re-establish presidential power after a profound economic and political crisis, when 50 percent of the people were impoverished and “throw them all out” was the theme of raucous pot-banging protests.

Kirchner’s historical legacy isn’t settled yet; I think in some ways it depends on what happens with Cristina Fernandez,” Mr. Bacman said.