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Aro Tolbukhin in the Mind of a Killer (2002)

Aro Tolbukhin - En la mente del asesino (original title)
Aro Tolbukhin is a hungarian inmigrant that sets fire to seven people in an infirmary in a Mission in Guatemala, the movie traces back to see what made him do it, from his arrival in Guatemala to his childhood in Hungary.
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Giménez Cacho ... Adult Aro
Carmen Beato Carmen Beato ... Sister Carmen
Zóltán Józan Zóltán Józan ... Teenage Aro
Mariona Castillo Mariona Castillo ... Teenage Selma
Aram González Aram González ... Young Aro
Eva Fortea Eva Fortea ... Young Selma
Jesús Ramos Jesús Ramos ... Father
Pepa Charro ... Dada
Xhévdete Bajraj Xhévdete Bajraj
Margarita Farran Margarita Farran
Ángeles Cruz Ángeles Cruz
Ofelia Mex Ofelia Mex
Lynn Fainchtein Lynn Fainchtein
Rafael Cortes Rafael Cortes
Margarita Kenéfic Margarita Kenéfic


Aro Tolbukhin is a hungarian inmigrant that sets fire to seven people in an infirmary in a Mission in Guatemala, the movie traces back to see what made him do it, from his arrival in Guatemala to his childhood in Hungary.

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Did You Know?


Selected as the official Mexico entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 76th Annual Academy Awards. See more »


When the Nun is boarding the bus in Guatemala, you can clearly see a shot of a Mexican political party (Convergencia) which wasn't around in 1980/81 - it was created at least 10 years later. See more »


Featured in Elisa K (2010) See more »

User Reviews

Excellent Docudrama
9 November 2012 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

This remarkable film dramatizes the story of the Hungarian merchant sailor and serial killer Aro Tolbukhin, and extensively uses documentary footage of its subject, shot in Guatemala during the time he spent in a Catholic mission in the country side, and when he was captured, interviewed in the jail of Pavón and finally executed by a firing squad. A work directed by a team of three filmmakers led by Agustí Villaronga (who won the Goya award for «Black Bread») the film combines footage in many formats (video, Super 8, 16 and 35mm), echoing the many levels that conform its cinematic discourse: besides the Tolbukhin case, it covers the moving story of Carme Curt, an ex nun who had a strong emotional relationship with Tolbukhin; and also the efforts of French filmmakers Lise August and Yves Keetman to bring his story to the screen in the 1980s: the impact of the material they shot of the real Tolbukhin and the people who knew him in Guatemala (a priest, his lawyer, a peasant), incredibly grows, as the dramatic sections tell the story behind the crimes to the viewer. As it unfolds, the film reveals as a rich visual experience that never tries to hide its debt to imagination: it is illustrated by a black & white film-within-the-(color)film, called «The Uninhabited Dress», that elaborates a fictional and lyrical past to Aro's life as a child and adolescent, based on true facts, given in an interview by his old Hungarian nanny, Slamár Yulané. It is more an evocation than a reconstruction, for it is not a psychological reasoning about the actions of the killer, but an illustration of coincidences in his dramatic, tragic life. As it turns out, «Aro Tolbukhin» is like a Pandora's Box in reserve, that deserves to be seen… without any prejudice.

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Spain | Mexico


Spanish | Catalan

Release Date:

8 November 2002 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Aro Tolbukhin See more »

Filming Locations:

Bois D'arcy, Yvelines, France See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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