Mario and Ana, in voluntary exile from Buenos Aires, live in a remote Argentine valley with their 12-year-old son Ernesto. Mario runs a school and a wool cooperative; Ana, a doctor, heads a...
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Mario and Ana, in voluntary exile from Buenos Aires, live in a remote Argentine valley with their 12-year-old son Ernesto. Mario runs a school and a wool cooperative; Ana, a doctor, heads a clinic with Nelda, a progressive nun. Into this idealistic family comes Hans, a jaded Spanish geological engineer -- surveying the land for the local patron, to see if it can be dammed for hydro-electric power, which would drive the peasants from the land into the cities.Written by
Official submission of Uruguay for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 65th Academy Awards in 1993. This is only the second film in the history of the Academy Awards (after the Bowery Boys movie High Society (1955)) to have been nominated for an Oscar and then removed from the ballot. The director Adolfo Aristarain had intended this to be Argentina's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film. When he took it to the Argentinean committee for submission he was told that Argentina had already decided on another film (Eliseo Subiela's The Dark Side of the Heart (1992)). Undaunted he went next door to the Uruguayan committee and offered it as Uruguay's official entry. This went against the academy's rule which states that the film must be directed, written, produced and cast with people from the country of the film's submission. The board submitted "A Place in the World" as Uruguay's official entry despite the fact that it was directed by an Argentinean, written by an Argentinean, produced by Argentineans, cast mostly with Argentineans and told the story of an Argentinean rancher facing off against an Argentinean hydroelectric plant in Argentina. Aristarain knew the rules but decided to submit the film because his wife was a native Uruguayan who had been the film's costume designer and had a hand in co-writing the screenplay. When the 1992 Oscar nominations came out, A Place in the World was among the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film (ironically, the film that Argentina submitted was not). The Academy's board of governors learned that the film was in violation of the rule after the nominations had come out and decided to remove it from the official ballot. Aristarain felt that the board was out of line and after failing to convince them to change their minds, he tried to sue on the grounds of "breach of contract". He lost the suit on the ruling that the Academy "has the complete, untrammeled ability to base the awards on whatever it wants". Angry at the ruling, Aristarain made the decision not to release the film in the United States. He relented and it did get a minor release in early 1995 (where it grossed $100,986). As for the Academy, in an effort to avoid this kind of problem again, they rewrote their official rules to make the submission process more mathematically sound. See more »
You don't like to be bossed around, do you? The more you know, the less orders you'll receive.
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I think, and most Latin American critics agree, that A PLACE IN THE WORLD runs neck and neck with the Oscar winning OFFICIAL STORY as Argentina's greatest movie ever. This movie shows the maturity that Argentine cinema began to reach after the mid 80's Oscar winner, mentioned above. The wounds left in Argentina by the events depicted in THE OFFICIAL STORY are still there. They are in fact a central theme of this film, which shows vivid signs of these scars beginning to heal. The film also brings Cecilia Roth back from exile (in real life as well as in the film), and cements her partnership with Federico Luppi as the 90's equivalent of Norma Aleandro and Hector Alterio, who were the couple of the 70's and 80's. In fact, Roth and Luppi and this film's director went on to collaborate on another landmark Argentine film of the 90's (MARTIN HACHE), and Roth and Luppi have continued to appear on the screen together since. This film may be their greatest collaboration, but their acting is not the only reason to see this film. Life in the interior of Argentina's provinces was never so well portrayed and explored. And challenges that Argentina and indeed, all Latin American countries face are well addressed. A must see.
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