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El bonaerense (2002)

A young locksmith is forced to leave his home and family to join the Buenos Aires police force.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jorge Román ...
Mimí Ardú ...
Darío Levy ...
Hugo Anganuzzi ...
Graciana Chironi ...
Madre Zapa
Roberto Posse ...
Luis Viscat ...
Aníbal Barengo ...
Gerardo Maffoni ...
Liliana De Maria ...
Gastón Polo ...
Facundo Gomez ...
Carlos Federico Simon ...
Hijo de Mabel
Marcela Uzuka ...
Instructor Policial


Mendoza Enrique Orlando, aka Zapa, is a thirty-two-year-old locksmith. Still single and hopeless, he lives with his mother, his sister and her kid in a small village in Argentina, where time passes by slowly and business is usually slow. Yet, one day, a call from his boss Polaco to open a safe located in an office downtown will finally give Zapa's idle hands something to do. Unfortunately, the next thing he knows, an inspector of the Buenos Aires Police handcuffs him and takes him to the precinct facing charges of theft with Polaco disappeared. Framed and struck with bad luck, Zapa will see his miserable life change when his uncle and former policeman Ismael offers to bail him out of prison. In addition, his letter of recommendation will open a position in the Police Academy, where Zapa as a Police applicant training to become a Corporal will begin for once in his life to have dreams of a better life. During the days of his training and finding a place to live, Zapa will experience an... Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Superbly Persuasive Thriller. Outstanding Human Drama. See more »


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

19 September 2002 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Do Outro Lado da Lei  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


There is a dedication in the beginning of the film: "A Mateo". See more »


Marina: You're an intelligent man, tell me: is the monkey a quadruped or... how was it, a biparous?
Osorio: A biped. Biped, Marina, biped. Monkeys have evolved... In the animal evolving scale, there's no doubt monkeys have evolved. And there are certain human beings, that, although they're just non-feathered bipeds, they are much more than just primates.
See more »


Referenced in Levels (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

An Indictment of Police Culture
17 September 2003 | by (miami, FL) – See all my reviews

I decided to comment due to finding the previous comment exceedingly misleading. EL BONAERENSE is not a comedy and there's nothing "Jarmusch-like" about it. The protagonist is not a "small time hood" but a locksmith ordered by his boss to help a client open a safe. Presenting him as a "hood" would go against the major message of the film: how institutional corruption can poison and seduce an average guy, in this case a vulnerable man from the interior who moves to Buenos Aires, hence the title. The narrative structure is chronological and easy to follow (there's nothing "offbeat" about it). The scenes are rather brief with quick editing, rather than the long takes and laconic pace characteristic of Mr. Jarmusch. Where I disagree with the otherwise excellent comments from the Argentinian viewer is that I think EL BONAERENSE is an indictment of big-city police culture more than a character study. The film is more sociological than psychological, in my interpretation.

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