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Kindergarten (1989)

| Drama, Romance
The movie focuses on the marriage of Graciela and Arturo, who operate a kindergarten in their mansion.


Jorge Polaco
1 win. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Graciela Borges ... Graciela / Wife
Arturo Puig ... Arturo / Husband
Luisa Vehil ... Luisa / Graciela's mothe
Elvira Romei Elvira Romei ... Elvira
Luciano Sanguineri Luciano Sanguineri ... Luciano
Cecilia Etchegaray Cecilia Etchegaray ... Silvia
Alejandro Urdapilleta Alejandro Urdapilleta ... Popcorn Seller
Eithel Bianco Eithel Bianco
Margot Moreyra Margot Moreyra
Eleonora Berlante Eleonora Berlante
Micaela Brandoni Micaela Brandoni
Néstor Tirri Néstor Tirri
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Noelia Demichelli Noelia Demichelli ... Kid in the playground


Middle aged couple Graciela and Arturo operate a kindergarten in their mansion. They live with Graciela's wheelchair bound widowed mother, Luisa. Graciela is particularly keen on one boy, Luciano, on whom she makes sexual advances. As time progresses, the relationship between Graciela and Arturo tenses. Scenes show them celebrating kids' birthdays while having sex in hiding, practicing a ritualistic burning of a wrecked car, mistreating their comatose grandfather (victim of said car wreck) and generally torturing Luciano. The end has Luciano imprisoning and gassing Graciela and Arturo, and then escaping with Luisa on a horse-drawn carriage. Written by lament

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Drama | Romance


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User Reviews

A Haunting Vision
10 March 2018 | by NostalgicQuixoteSee all my reviews

Eerie, atmospheric, and enigmatic are adjectives that come to mind when trying to describe _Kindergarten_. Notorious for being banned due to its explicit nudity and sexual content, this film will strike viewers either as pretentious nonsense or as an unforgettable depiction of neurosis.

Graciela Borges and Arturo Puig star as a couple who run a kindergarten in the Argentinean countryside. The characters have the same names as the actors. Graciela is troubled, to say the least. She keeps the mummified remains of her father, talks to the corpse, and takes it for a walk. At times she tries too hard to connect with her stepson Leonardo; other times she rejects him violently. Arturo is only slightly more normal. His attempts to calm Graciela down often lead to aggression.

The film jumps from the "real" to the symbolic constantly and without warning. Sudden scenes that appear to have no relation to what was going on before actually depict psychological states. The entire film may be interpreted as a complicated allegory. If I had to compare this film to the work of other filmmakers, the only names I could mention would be those of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Peter Greenaway. Polaco uses theatrical settings and revolving camera shots to create a haunting atmosphere. Big, old houses like the one where the action takes place abound in the Greater Buenos Aires area, and they are ideal settings for stories of isolation, madness, and dark desires. The film is punctuated by three recurring, and quite adequate, musical pieces: "Que Sera, Sera," "La Vie En Rose," and Erik Satie's "Gnossienne No. 1."

A cinematic nightmare, _Kindergarten_ remains the only film to have been banned in Argentina after the return of democracy in the early 80s. It is not for everyone, but it is worth a try. To understand where the film comes from, I recommend watching it back to back with Polaco's first feature film, the grotesque _Diapasón_. (For a more accessible introduction to the director, there is _Siempre es difícil volver a casa_. Polaco called the latter his "película idiota," and while it is quite frivolous, I feel it does bear the director's mark.) Whether one considers it a masterpiece or a case of the proverbial emperor being naked (as so many of the film's characters are), one has to admit that _Kindergarten_ has the power of an original vision.

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