Excellent, accomplished and very patient. An unbelievably powerful documentary that thoroughly drives its point home by the sheer emotional virtuosity contained in the incredible stories of the people it depicts.
The setting is present day Argentina. Like a fly in the wall, in great verité style, the filmmaker visits and listens to the shocking and extremely poignant stories of a series of subjects, from grandmothers to mothers to young people, all of whom lost family members in the dirty war of Argentina's military junta against its people starting in 1976.
After a few of these interviews, a motif is formed and the main theme of the film is revealed to the viewer. This is a film that focuses on the life of many young people who were born to parents that "disappeared" during the dictatorship and what happened to them after their parents' death. Many of them, born in captivity, were placed in foster homes after their parents had been killed by the regime and never had any contact with their true biological families until recently, when, through searches conducted by an organization called ABUELAS, these people were contacted and introduced to their true families.
The reactions to the news of their true identities varies tremendously from person to person. The film was very successful at capturing the vitality of these reactions quite vividly. In them we experience the most touching of human moments, moments of hope, despair, suffering, longing, hurt, innocence and innocence shattered by the boot of brute force.
This is then a film about the disappeared children of the disappeared. As the search for them was mostly conducted by the surviving grandmothers, traumatized by the loss of their own children in the government-sponsored catastrophe, the film takes its title "Nietos" (Grandchildren) as these kids, now young adults, were a dim light of hope in the hearts of the suffering grandmothers. A way for them to retain something of their own children that was so brutally taken away by the regime.
Without turning to inflammatory rhetoric, this film is probably one of the biggest and most profound condemnations of the cowardly acts of the military junta against the people of Argentina who dared oppose them and who were killed for having held opposing views. The testimonials of these people are very moving. The injustice they suffered and which they openly talk about in the film drives the viewer to intense anger against this regime of barbarism established in Argentina in 1976.
The film-making is accomplished, although it certainly looks like a DV film. The editing is masterly. The interviews are the best thing about this film. This is a filmic triumph. Thumbs up!!! Check it out if you have the chance.
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