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El premio
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Prize More at IMDbPro »El premio (original title)

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Hiding

5/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
11 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Young Cecilia, a seven year old girl is seen in the first sequence of the film skating on a pair of beat-up skates over the hardened sand of a desolate beach on the South Atlantic. We follow the girl to a shack where she and Lucia, her mother, are hiding. It is the Argentina of the 1970s where the military junta persecuted thousands of young people with leftist ideas. One thing is painfully clear, the father is sadly absent.

The first full length of director Paula Markovitch, despite of some praise of critics, is a painful hermetic film with an oppressive atmosphere that is so slow, it crawls along. The narrative concentrates on the young girl, Gecilia, who sticks out like a sore thumb among the impoverish inhabitants of the remote area where Lucia has taken her daughter to hide away from the same military forces that may, or may not have killed her husband. It is a miracle the two have not been discovered and ratted out to the enemy, especially when Cecilia decides to enter in the contest sponsored by the military government of that province.

Where Ms. Markovitch has better luck is with the casting of Paula Gallinelli Hertzog as Cecilia. This young girl is the main reason for staying with a film, that ultimately, does not convince because the heavy handedness of the story.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Prize is a painful film to endure

1/10
Author: tonywohlfarth from Montreal
10 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I screened El Premio at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. I came away from the cinema perplexed by the question "why was this film made?"

I get this is the director's personal story. Good thing a programmer introduced the film! Otherwise, one would never know it is set in Argentina, is about the dirty war of the 1980's, and it is about her parents personal sacrifices (NB you only learn this if you manage to persevere to the final credits!).

I also have huge technical problems with this film: - the long, granular camera scenes are overdone and ancillary to the plot; - the scene with Argentian military portrays them as akin to Colonel Klink! Scary? I don't see it!; - the prize was presumably about instilling loyalty to the military junta. This seemed to be contrived and unrealistic; - the sub-theme (persecution of Jews after escaping persecution in Europe receives only passing mention.

The Prize fails on all levels - as a film about a critical period in Argentinian history, as a Jewish film, as an exploration of the tumultuous relationship between a mother and her daughter.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Childs view

7/10
Author: kosmasp
13 November 2011

The director has stated that she based this on her own childhood, which even if she didn't have said, was something you could've guessed by watching this movie. While the movie has a lot of metaphors (even too many as the previous reviewer has stated), the story in itself is very intriguing. Even more so, because it is told from the child's point of view!

The film showed as official part of the Internation Festival in Berlin. And while you might find it tries too much or too hard, it's still better than not trying at all. The drama that comes through simple things (and the repression resulting) is stunning. And if you think about the fact, that some of this might still be going on in some countries ...

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4 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

My Dad Sells Drapes

5/10
Author: Rindiana from Germany
12 February 2011

Literally blurred and unfocused personal childhood drama with barely defined characters, repetitive and redundant imagery that strives for poetry without achieving any, a rather thin and forced, though potentially interesting narrative and a strongly unwelcome naivety regarding the serious political circumstances the pic's set in. (Though from a child's point of view, the last point may make sense.)

That said, the child actors are great.

A movie you'd like to like more than you do.

I doubt this pic may be awarded any "premio", but the plot might have served as the basis for a solid short.

5 out of 10 sandy roller-skates

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