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Clouds (1998)

La nube (original title)
An eclectic group of actors struggle to save their theater from being demolished and replaced with a shopping mall. Max, the leader of the troupe, is a workaholic director who abandoned his... See full summary »
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8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eduardo Pavlovsky ...
Max
Laura Novoa
Ângela Correa ...
Fulo
Franklin Caicedo
Carlos Páez
Favio Posca ...
Periodista
Leonor Manso
Luis Cardei
Francisco Nápoli ...
Alfonso
Cristina Banegas
Bernard Le Coq
Christophe Malavoy
Carlos Broggi
Margara Alonso
Mari Tapia
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Storyline

An eclectic group of actors struggle to save their theater from being demolished and replaced with a shopping mall. Max, the leader of the troupe, is a workaholic director who abandoned his family to build his career and is forced to confront the daughter he deserted. Then there is Enrique, the playwright-poet who is reduced to pawning his belongings to sustain his livelihood when his state pension is severed. Finally, there is Fulo who is driven to succeed so that she can bring her daughter from Rio de Janeiro. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

3 September 1998 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Clouds  »

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Chilling prophecy of what was really in store for Argentina
28 June 2004 | by (Berlin) – See all my reviews

This 1998 film is (or not) an allegory of the failure of the Argentinian nation, as told by the demise, and struggle to survive by a theater company. What makes the film a chilling prophecy of what was really in store for Argentina is its timing.

Released in 1998, when the country was still then the world darling and shining "successful" example of successful neo-liberalist economy policy (??!!), Argentina was entering recession. But it was NOWHERE close to the total debacle of January 2002, its effects still being felt in a country transformed by forever broken dreams, failure, and total bankruptcy. So, when filmed and released, whether this film's plot was or not a real allegory of the country's fate, was in the air. As it turned out, the messages in the film are almost 100% correct.

So the film today is actually more relevant than ever, and faithful to the real stories of those who lost everything, particularly the senior citizens. It's almost unbelievable how this film predicted, like a crystal ball, the events, the trials and tribulations of pensioners (retirees) since 2001 (still mostly unpaid or underpaid - as of June 2004. The dialogues of this film's characters of how they lose everything, or almost everything (clinging to one thing at least - in this film's case - a theater, and a 25 year old theater group), are almost verbatim quotes of Argentinians complaints right now, in the present time. You'll often hear them in the current President's speeches as he insists that his country, "raped by foreign investors," will at most pay a mere 25% of the country's debt to foreign debtors.

Yes, Argentinians have always been a melancholic, depressive, negative lot; singing the sad lyrics of the tango over loss of love, their European homelands, treason, treachery, the general rotten nature of the human race, suicide, and so on. This melancholic art form actually peaked during times when Argentina was one of the world's most developed, richest countries - the world's No. 2 for many years in several periods in the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries.

It was (is) the only ethnically European country, and the only one with a middle class in the Americas, besides the US and Canada, but more ethnically homogeneous than either the US or Canada. Maybe even with better income distribution, as there was never a slave past (with Africans or Asians in any case) to speak of in Argentina, and most people are of pure European heritage. An African (black) person, or an Oriental is still a rarity in the country, a factor which aided in uniting the country for many years.

Remember the expression "as rich as an Argentine?" But they still whined when they were on top of the world; even after winning two World Cups, producing Nobel Prize Winners, and sport champions from tennis to car racing to rugby and cricket.

I think the reason this movie has a low rating is that at the time it was released, viewers thought it was one more "artsy" negative manifestation of the eternally "whiny" Argentines. How could something so gloomy and defeatist come out of a country which was still living a boom in the mid 90s? That's what I believe the earlier (and vast majority of) voters thought, when they evaluated this movie.

But see it now, and WITNESS just how true everything in the film turned out to be. It is really prophetic. And the movie itself, though too long, too "artsy" and pretentious (other attributes generally attributed to Argentinians), it is STILL worth seeing. Especially now, as one hears Argentinians legitimate complains since 2002 a full four years earlier, in 1998. The film presents an uncanny prophecy, and a great allegory of a country's decline and eventual nearly total economic and moral bankruptcy.


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