Imagining Argentina (2003)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  16 April 2004 (Spain)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,698 users   Metascore: 27/100
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Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson star in this gripping political thriller about a man with the power to see the fate of missing people - with the exception of his own beloved wife.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Orfeo / Enrico
Hector Bordoni ...
Pedro Augustín (as Héctor Bordoni)
Carlos Rueda
Cecilia Rueda
Esme Palomares (as Marí'a Canals)
Silvio Ayala
Teresa Rueda
Anthony Diaz-Perez ...
Policeman 1 (as Anthony Díaz Pérez)
Policeman 2
Carlos Kaniowsky ...
Rubén Mendoza (as Carlos Kaniowski)
Stella Maris ...
Concepta Madrid
Concha Hidalgo ...
Octavio Marquez's Grandmother
Ana Gracia ...
Hannah Masson
Horacio Obón ...
Victor Madrid


Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson star in this gripping political thriller about a man with the power to see the fate of missing people - with the exception of his own beloved wife.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An extraordinary story of love, compassion and danger.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/torture and brief language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



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Release Date:

16 April 2004 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Aconteceu na Argentina  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When it became clear that two additional scenes would help the script, a) the quarrel about whether Cecilia should publish her article and b) the flashback scene why the Cecilia and Carlos got married, there was a little competition going on between 'Christopher Hampton' and 'Emma Thompson', who both wrote their versions of those scenes. Emma Thompson's version of the flashback scene finally was agreed on. See more »

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User Reviews

The Tragedy of Argentina's "Desaparecidos"
5 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Argentina's Dirty War and the regime of the Generals from 1976 to 1983 is one of the dark secrets of history and has been examined by poets, writers such as Colm Toibin (and here, Lawrence Thornton in his novel from which the film was adapted), and journalists. And yet the silence about this period of time is deafening, especially since the amnesty this past June releasing the perpetrators from all responsibility of this terrifying activity and time in Argentina. Now, with the current 'silencing' of our own covert CIA activities and tortures in the name of a fight against terrorism, this overlooked film takes on particular potency. And for whatever reasons the film doesn't succeed as a great movie, at least it is a red flag bravely waving.

In 1976 the intellects, professors, journalists and writers began disappearing, kidnapped, taken to secret hideaways, tortured, raped, and disposed of all in the guise of protecting the viability of the military regime. Carlos (Antonio Banderas) runs a children's theater and is married to Cecilia (Emma Thompson) who writes articles about the "desaparecidos" despite the warnings from Carlos and their close friends Silvio (Rubén Blades) and Esme (Maria Canals). Their daughter Teresa (Leticia Dolera) is a young girl who is conflicted about the feelings of her parents in this scandalized government. Cecilia is abducted, becomes one of the dreaded desaparecidos, and Carlos commits himself to finding her. He discovers he has clairvoyant powers and holds meetings in his garden to help parents and loved ones of the desaparecidos to cope. Working with Teresa he tries to envision Cecilia's whereabouts and the film's dénouement and conclusion deal with this breathless seeking.

The acting if good as expected from this cast. The direction is fast paced, but the problem is one of distance from the passion of Carlos. For some reason Banderas elected to keep such a low profiles that his desperation to find Cecilia is somewhat muted. But as stated above the real success of this fine little film is the message it carries and that message is too close to home to ignore. The musical score and cinematography (and the incidental wonderful Tango dancing) are superb. Recommended. Grady Harp

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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