The Official Story (1985)
"La historia oficial" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  8 November 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,984 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 17 critic

After the end of the Dirty War, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Uranus (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After World War II, a small French village struggles to put the war behind as the controlling Communist Party tries to flush out Petain loyalists. The local bar owner, a simple man who ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Berri
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Blanc
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young journalist (Lespert) helps the French President compile his memoirs.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Jalil Lespert, Philippe Fretun
Drama | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An anthology film consisting of three very different stories about love set in Europe and told in flashback.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Gottfried Reinhardt
Stars: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Leslie Caron
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Benoit and Maryse: a brother and sister with seemingly normal lives. Everything is changed by a series of coincidences... and the arrival of a man claiming to come from the future.

Director: Stéphane Lafleur
Stars: Francis La Haye, Fanny Mallette, Michel Daigle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien
Mon amie Max (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Catherine, a concert pianist, is surprised one night by the arrival of her best friend from childhood, Marie-Alexandrine (Max), whom she hasn't seen for 25 years. Catherine and Max were ... See full summary »

Director: Michel Brault
Stars: Geneviève Bujold, Marthe Keller, Johanne McKay
Trotta (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Stars: András Bálint, Rosemarie Fendel, Doris Kunstmann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman imbued with naturalistic and libertarian theories leaves her city home to live in the countryside with her young son. There she meets a litigious farmer who fights against the banks... See full summary »

Director: Gilles Carle
Stars: Micheline Lanctôt, Donald Pilon, Reynald Bouchard
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wife of photographer J.A. Martin decides to go with him in his tour of the hard Canadian countryside at the turn of the century. She hopes the intimacy will revive their marriage.

Director: Jean Beaudin
Stars: Marcel Sabourin, Monique Mercure, Marthe Thierry
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Marcel, recently released from prison, attempt to rebuild his relationship with his girlfriend Julie (now a prostitute) and especially his father Albert (who thinks he's been away on a long... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Gilles Maheu, Roger Lebel, Corrado Mastropasqua


Cast overview, first billed only:
Héctor Alterio ...
Chunchuna Villafañe ...
Hugo Arana ...
Guillermo Battaglia ...
Chela Ruíz ...
Patricio Contreras ...
María Luisa Robledo ...
Aníbal Morixe ...
Jorge Petraglia ...
Analia Castro ...
Daniel Lago ...
Augusto Larreta ...
Laura Palmucci ...
Leal Rey ...


Alicia Marnet de Ibáñez is a high school history professor and a well-to-do housewife in Buenos Aires, circa 1983, after the fall of the "junta militar" that had taken over the government since 1976. She has a husband, Roberto, who is a succesful lawyer and a five-year-old adopted daughter. Written by Miguel Cane

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A truth too frightening to ignore. See more »


Drama | History | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Official Story  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The house where Alicia, Roberto and Gaby live is actually the house of the director, Luis Puenzo. See more »


Alicia: Dolores is lucky to have such a devoted friend as you.
Gaby: What does "divided" mean?
See more »


Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »


El pais del nome acuerdo
Written by María Elena Walsh
Sung by Analia Castro
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A film of shattering power
24 March 2003 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

In the powerful 1985 film The Official Story, Director Luis Puenzo tells the story of a teacher's awakening to conscience at the end of Argentina's "Dirty War" of the late 70s and early 80s. As in Pinochet's Chile, the military secret police sought to consolidate their power by routinely torturing and murdering students, political activists, opponents of the regime, and even expectant mothers. Many ended up as desaparecidos, people taken by the government and not returned. The film is about one mother's search for the truth about her adopted daughter and her discovery brings harsh political reality very close to home.

In The Official Story, Alicia (Norma Aleandro) lives a comfortable middle class life. She teaches History to high school students and enjoys a family that includes her well-to-do husband Roberto (Hector Alterio) and 5-year old adopted daughter Gaby (Analia Castro). Not used to asking questions, she believes whatever she has read in history books and is confused when one of her students tells her that "history is written by assassins." She sees the demonstrations of the "Mothers of Plaza de Mayo", a group seeking information about missing family members but remains uninvolved. When her friend Ana (Chunchuna Villafane) visits after living in exile for many years, however, she learns, in an intensely emotional scene, that Ana had been imprisoned and tortured by the police trying to locate her husband, a suspected "subversive".

Ana tells Alicia that many others had "disappeared" and that babies had been taken from their mothers and given to childless friends of the junta. Alicia begins to wonder if her own child was the daughter of a political victim and questions her husband but when he is evasive, she suspects that he may be hiding a dark secret. Although fearful at the prospect of losing Gaby, Alicia is determined to find out about her daughter's past and begins to search hospital records and government archives. Ultimately, she must confront her own responsibility in a climax of shattering force that underscores the tragedy of political ideologues who would rather destroy family solidarity than risk losing power.

50 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Junta Militar sanclovis
shocked by the lack of post, this movie IS GREAT! juanveliz7
Why was the old man killed? beckerroscow
Question about movie sarahito
So my teacher made us watch this in class... apple2991
Sequel kristachan-1
Discuss The Official Story (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: