The Girlfriend

  • Film
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This fragmented history of a relationship between two women explores elasticity of friendship, loyalty and strength, and attempts to parallel the women's differing experiences of oppression. Raquel, a Jewish child refugee from Berlin, and Maria grow up in Buenos Aires in the '40s and '50s. Raquel (Lincovsky) realises her desire to become a well-known actress; Maria (Ullmann) marries a local boy and has three children. The two meet again in 1978, shortly after Maria's eldest has been abducted by 'security forces'. Anti-Semitic attacks scare Raquel into fleeing to Berlin, to return to an uneasy democracy of sorts when Argentina's military government falls. Maria has devoted herself to an uncompromising struggle to locate her missing son, one of many. Raquel has exorcised herself in Berlin (but it's a shady part of the narrative) and returns somehow more reflective; Maria has been transformed from passive onlooker to vociferous leader of 'The Mothers'. The story rattles on movingly and competently, but might have been more fulfilling had the themes been better balanced: the dialectic only hints at similarities between the opression faced in Europe in the thirties and Argentina in the seventies, at the anti-Semitism that surfaced during both traumatic periods.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jeanine Meerapfel
Screenwriter: Jeanine Meerapfel, Alcides Chiesa, Agnieszka Holland
Cast: Liv Ullmann
Cipe Lincovsky
Federico Luppi
Victor Laplace
Harry Baer
Lito Cruz
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