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The Official Story (1985)

La historia oficial (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 8 November 1985 (USA)
1:34 | Trailer

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After the end of the Dirty War, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.


Luis Puenzo
Won 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Héctor Alterio ... Roberto
Norma Aleandro ... Alicia
Chunchuna Villafañe ... Ana
Hugo Arana ... Enrique
Guillermo Battaglia ... Jose
Chela Ruíz ... Sara
Patricio Contreras ... Benitez
María Luisa Robledo ... Nata
Aníbal Morixe Aníbal Morixe ... Miller
Jorge Petraglia Jorge Petraglia ... Macci
Analia Castro Analia Castro ... Gaby
Daniel Lago Daniel Lago ... Dante
Augusto Larreta Augusto Larreta ... General
Laura Palmucci Laura Palmucci ... Rosa
Leal Rey Leal Rey ... Cura


Alicia Marnet de Ibáñez is a high school history professor and a well-to-do housewife in Buenos Aires, circa 1983, after the fall of the "junta militar" that had taken over the government since 1976. She has a husband, Roberto, who is a succesful lawyer and a five-year-old adopted daughter. Written by Miguel Cane

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A truth too frightening to ignore. See more »


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





Spanish | English

Release Date:

8 November 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Official Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Argentina See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,426, 10 November 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$29,426, 10 November 1985
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film won the Oscar in March 24, 1986. Coincidentally, Norma Aleandro, and then-MPAA president Jack Valenti, co-presented the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the ceremony. Both were visibly elated when the film was announced as the winner. Ten years prior, in March 24, 1976, began the military dictatorship -also knows as "The Dirty War" in Argentina, which lasted until 1983, a fact acknowledged by director Luis Puenzo, when he accepted the award. See more »


Alicia: Dolores is lucky to have such a devoted friend as you.
Gaby: What does "divided" mean?
See more »


References The Muppet Show (1976) See more »


El pais del nome acuerdo
Written by María Elena Walsh
Sung by Analia Castro
See more »

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User Reviews

Setting records straight
8 September 2004 | by Matt HurstSee all my reviews

Luis Puenzo's 'La Historia Official' captures a moment in Argentine history from the perspective less common for it's home audience; the aristocracy. Inside the junta military (military rule) of Argentina from 1976-1983 there were many like Alecia Marnet, with their upper class stability and indifference to a rule that left them in power of their own destinies. Alecia is somewhat different in her work as a history teacher seemingly unaware of how history is written by the victors. Her subsequent change of heart parallels that of her country, without which change this film could never have made.

There are plenty of compelling stories within 'La Historia Official' that sensitively portray the atrocities suffered by the Argentines at the hand of their own rulers. When Alecia is told of the uncharged detention and torture of her high school friend in a first hand account could hardly believe that such horrors could be committed by those who helped her family build a good life. She dismisses her students' news articles and pleads for peaceful renewal in the country, even threatening to expel them for questioning the official history accounts. Alecia at first reacts in denial to these challenges to authority in protection of herself from feeling guilt and shame for having benefited from others' suffering. It is entirely necessary for her to take the experience personally, through finding her daughter's true identity, for Alecia to accept and then come to terms with her own and her nation's true identity. This psychodrama is furthered by her own husband's opposition to the truth; his definition of success is motivated only when he is recognized with respect. As Alecia finds her husband's own family cannot respect his work, and she in turn can no longer respect him for his deceit, she in turn becomes one of the people before Argentina frees itself from its fascist rulers.

There's much to love in any film made about the people like those who are making it. 'La Historia Official' may not represent anything distinctive technically from other films, but its story is a powerful tribute to its own country. The film however is entirely universal. Had the film taken place in fascist Spain or any other fascist ruled country, the only differences would probably be cultural and historical. Through Alecia we find the ability to learn the truth and rise in opposition within ourselves. 'La Historia Official' shows us the truth lay dormant within ourselves but should not be ignored for the sake of accepting the history we are told.

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