A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
Julia, a 25 year-old university student, two weeks pregnant, with no criminal record, is sent to prison. Julia murdered the father of her child. This story addresses maternity, jail and Justice; confinement, guilt and solitude; but above all it deals with Julia and her son, Tomas, born inside an Argentinean prison. Written by
In Buenos Aires, the independent college student Julia Zárate (Martina Gusman) awakes in her apartment with gore everywhere and her lover Nahuel stabbed and his lover Ramiro (Rodrigo Santoro) covered of blood but still alive. Julia is pregnant and is sent to a special wing in the prison with mothers and pregnant prisoners to wait for trial. Julia befriends Marta (Laura Garcia), who has two children and helps her to understand motherhood and life in prison. Julia delivers Tomás (Tomas Plotinsky) and sooner her mother tries to kidnap her grandson, causing a rebellion in Julia's wing. When Ramiro, who was also Julia's lover, accuses her of murdering Nahuel, her expectation of raising Tomás is frustrated.
Movies about prison are usually interesting and in this regard "Leonera" is engaging. I do not recall any other movie of this theme showing a mother raising her son in this environment, especially in a Third World country. The humanity of the guards in the Argentinean prison surprises. However, the screenplay of "Leonera" is a complete mess in the development of the lead character Julia. If this story was based on a true event, I could understand the non-conclusive situation; however, it is fictional and there are many flaws in Julia's character and the most obvious is whether she is guilty or innocent. The viewer never knows if she killed her lover Nahuel or not. Then she rejects her baby and tries to provoke an abortion, hitting her womb several times; why she changes her behavior after the birth of Tomás is again never clear. I recall that one prisoner tells her that the wing where she is imprisoned is totally different from the rest of the prison. Last but not the least, her triangle of love with Nahuel and Ramiro is extremely confused, considering that Ramiro is the lover of Nahuel. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Leonera"
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