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In 1977, the goalkeeper of the Almagro team Claudio Tamburrini is illegally kidnapped from his home, arrested by the government forces and sent blindfolded to Sere Mansion, a clandestine detention center. His acquaintance Tano, who had been tortured for a long period, had falsely accused Claudio of being a revolutionary. Along the months, Claudio is kept nude and handcuffed together with the prisoners El Gallego, El Vasco and Guillermo Fernández and submitted to all sort of humiliations and tortures, until the night they decide to escape from their imprisonment in the old mansion. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the aspects of this excellent film from Argentina is the disturbing fact that it is based on actual events. Director Israel Adrián Caetano (with Esteban Student and Julian Loyola) created the screenplay from the main character's memoir - 'Pase libre' by Claudio Tamburrini - and in doing so bring a sense of immediacy and unfiltered truth to this tale of the 1977 military dictatorship in Argentina during the time of the 'Desaparecidos' or terminal evacuation/elimination of dissidents to the regime.
CHRONICLE OF AN ESCAPE (Crónica de una fuga) relates the capture of soccer goalie Claudio Tamburrini (Rodrigo de la Serna, remembered for his magnetic portrayal of Alberto in 'The Motorcycle Diaries') during a soccer game in 1977 when he was abducted, blindfolded, and taken to a house of detention as a suspected revolutionary. Claudio is beaten, interrogated, starved, and forced to live nude, blindfolded and in handcuffs chained to his palette along with other detainees - Guillermo Fernández (Nazareno Casero), El Gallego (Lautaro Delgado), El Vasco (Matías Marmorato) and El Tano (Martín Urruty). Each of the detainees is repeatedly tortured and deprived of the 'necessities' of living until after four months the group decides to escape. The tension of their ingenious escape provides the film with a tense and riveting closure, and at the end of the film the destinies of each of the detainees is revealed.
Though the world knows some of the details of the military junta in Argentina that lasted from 1976 to 1985, observing the calamity in the form of real individuals who suffered pleads the case for understanding the atrocities better than simply reading media accounts. The manner in which Caetano directs his superb cast is enhanced by the extraordinary cinematography of Julián Apezteguía and the moody and creatively subtle musical score by Iván Wyszogrod. The cast is uniformly excellent: though the men who play the evil torturers have not been named in this review they are all very strong actors. This is a tough movie to watch and the audience should be aware that the prisoners appear in the nude throughout the film (if that is a problem for some viewers). In Spanish with English subtitles. Very strongly recommended, especially in this time when the concept of 'detainees' is so very much in the public eye once again! Grady Harp
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