Argentina, 1985

Strassera and Ocampo in court

In classic Hollywood triumph-over-adversity style, Argentina, 1985 deals with weighty events in a superbly accessible way as it tells the story of the lawyer who put the dictatorial Argentinian Junta on trial and saw that they got their judicial just deserts. It was a big film in Argentina, understandably, but also got nominated for an Oscar in the best international feature category – against tough competition (Eo, The Quiet Girl, Close and, most of all, All Quiet on the Western Front) – and that has to be on the strength of its writing, which is lucid and brisk, and the direction, which makes regular use of Hollywood shorthand to keep things moving. If … Read more

White Elephant

Fathers Julián and Nicolás patrol the shanty

London Film Festival, 2012-10-21 At a certain point in the career of a successful film-maker who isn’t working in the English language, you expect him or her to make a “breakout” film, the one that gets them noticed in the global multiplexes, the one that makes them some money. At this point in the career of Pablo Trapero, the Argentinean who gave us Familia Rodante, Lion’s Den and Carancho – all critical hits – you’s expect White Elephant to be that film. It isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s a disappointment. Quite the contrary. Instead of taking the money and selling out, Trapero has taken what budget his status as a film-maker now entitles him … Read more