Imagining Argentina


Time Out says

The hero of Hampton's film, set during Argentina's 1970s military dictatorship, is Carlos Rueda (Banderas), a children's theatre director in the middle of a production of the Orpheus myth. When he confronts General Guzmán about the 'disappearance' of hundreds, including his wife (Thompson), Guzmán lamely offers: 'I have never claimed to be omniscient.' Before leaving, Rueda declares that the people of Argentina possess something more powerful than Guzmán and his thugs: imagination. The film swings queasily from sentimentality to grisly violence, and this erratic tone never offers a way to come to grips with the evil depicted. Soon after his journalist wife disappears, Rueda becomes clairvoyant. He sees the fate of the disappeared by touching their loved ones. A metaphor for the healing power of compassion and storytelling, this is never explained, and registers as an unintended parody of Spock's Vulcan mind-meld. The allusion to Orpheus evokes the transformative power of myth and art, but while the film may offer a reminder of the persistence of evil, more than insipid fantasy is required to keep the horror at bay. (From the novel by Lawrence Thornton.) CBu.

By: CBu


Release details

107 mins

Cast and crew

Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
Antonio Banderas
Emma Thompson
Rubén Blades
María Canals
Kuno Becker
Leticia Dolera
Anton Lesser
John Wood
Claire Bloom
Irene Escolar
Fernando Tielve
Stella Maris
Horacio Obón
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