In the 70's, eighteen year-old Maria Fabiani lives with her French mother Diane in an old house in Buenos Aires, subletting rooms and giving classes to illiterate adults in the slums. One ... See full summary »
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Alejo García Pintos,
In the 70's, eighteen year-old Maria Fabiani lives with her French mother Diane in an old house in Buenos Aires, subletting rooms and giving classes to illiterate adults in the slums. One of the tenants, Felix, has a non-corresponded crush on Maria. When the teenager is abducted in her house by the Argentinean army accused of subversion, her mother seeks her out in the 23rd Precinct where one of the military without uniform tells her that they are heading with Maria. While Diane desperately tries to find information about her daughter, Maria is submitted to torture in the hideous underground of the Garage Olimpo. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This content contains some crucial info about the ending (sorry!).
This film is set in Argentina at the end of the 70's but it could be set anywhere in anytime. As soon as Maria gets kidnapped by the army, the film changes to an unbearable, uncomfortable and quite minimalist atmosphere.
The structure of the film itself brings out the complexity of resistance and engagement : the act of Ana arouses our sympathy at the beginning of the film but causes the death of Maria at the end of it. Also, the beautiful shots of the sea and of Buenos Aires taking from a plane turn out to be horrific as they suggest the death of the Disappeared.
The scenes where Felix, her torturer, takes Maria out from the Garage are well done and exceptional. The author shows the unconcern, thoughtlessness and happiness of the people who care more about the world cup as if nothing was happening, and show in the same time the terror of Maria's face with her eyes trying to find a way out. The relationship between Felix and Maria doesn't fall into the sentimental stereotype and is quite secondary. Maria knows that Felix is her only chance of survival, she plays the game but will never love never.
When I saw this film there were only 3 of us in the cinema. It was as if I saw it alone, in the dark in front of this story. I had a strange feeling when I came out and I will never forget this film.
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