Two childhood friends from Argentina, a renowned actress and a middle class housewife, find their relationship tested by the repressive politics of a military dictatorship: the actress Raquel is forced into exile and obscurity in Europe, while the drab Maria becomes a devoted activist with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo after her son is arrested. The film is more interested in getting its message across than in presenting a memorable story, shortchanging its genuine dramatic potential in favor of too many simple (if heartfelt) gestures of solidarity (an intrusive, histrionic music score doesn't help). But even dubbed into Spanish Liv Ullmann rises above the often banal plot conflicts (Can Raquel and Maria remain friends? Will Maria's activism jeopardize her marriage?) to convey the uncommon courage of a common woman living in a country where people show more emotion over World Cup soccer scores than about the brutality of their secret police forces.
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