Fascinating, emotionally moving movie with solid performances!
Seen at 2013 Cannes Film Festival, section "Un Certain Regard"
Movie "Wakolda" challenges possible escape of Nazi physician Josef Mengele (Alex Brendemühl) to Bariloche, Argentina, in 1960, after being successfully in hiding for over a decade in Buenos Aires. On the road he meets an Argentinian family and becomes fascinated with their daughter Lilith (Florencia Bado) who was born premature and thus has smaller body for her age. Upon their arrival to Bariloche, Mengele, going by name Helmut Gregor, becomes a guest of family's lodging house. With permission of mother Eva (Natalia Oreiro) and behind father's Enzo (Diego Peretti) back, Mengele starts to treat Lilith with growth hormones, which reopens his fascination with pure Aryan race...
The movie has exceptional score, cinematography and direction, almost fully shot in Bariloche's exteriors. The story develops into psychological thriller and suspense especially in moments where the family has no idea who the stranger in their house truly is, but spectators are fully aware of his true nature. Director Puenzo managed to incorporate into her movie elements of Nazi fascination by local community, mystery of genetic research and innocence of young Lilith who feels privileged to get stranger's attention.
Alex Brendemühl is chilling as the "Angel of Death", while Florencia Bado gives solid performance, especially being it her first movie role. Natalia Oreiro, Diego Peretti and Elena Roger manage to capture essence of their diverse characters and have on-screen moments with stunning performances. Oreiro convincingly portrays a mother who submits her child to hormone experimentation believing it to be the only option to help Lilith as she blames herself for having her prematurely.
The movie is multilayer and touches topics of Argentinian history that is not known to many. "Wakolda" is certainly an extraordinary movie experience.
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