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The Whore and the Whale (2004)

La puta y la ballena (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 April 2004 (Argentina)
Vera's, a Spanish journalist and writer former publisher brings her a suitcase with old photographs and letters and asks her to travel to Argentina to write a story about the man and the ... See full summary »


Luis Puenzo
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo Sbaraglia ... Emilio / Photographer
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón ... Vera
Pep Munné ... Jordi / Publisher
Mercè Llorens Mercè Llorens ... Lola / Dolores / Prostitute / Emilio's lover
Martín Caloni Martín Caloni ... Juanito / Vera's son
Pompeyo Audivert ... Orestes / Pilot
Miguel Ángel Solá ... Suárez / Musician
Nicolás Tognola Nicolás Tognola ... El Pibe Pedro / Pedro the kid
Belén Blanco Belén Blanco ... Matilde / Dancer
Lydia Lamaison ... Matilde / Old / Woman in hospital
Carola Reyna ... Meme
Edward Nutkiewicz Edward Nutkiewicz ... Ernesto / Suárez's grandson
Óscar Guzmán Óscar Guzmán ... Urondo
Natalia Otero Natalia Otero ... Prostituta 1
Nina Krakoff Nina Krakoff ... Prostitute 2


Vera's, a Spanish journalist and writer former publisher brings her a suitcase with old photographs and letters and asks her to travel to Argentina to write a story about the man and the woman in the photos. So she goes from Madrid to Buenos Aires to Patagonia on the trail of a seventy-year-old story involving a love letter, old photographs, a whale, a bordello and Tango. There she learns that she has hereditary breast cancer, and soon after she crosses a line and suddenly she is in hospital, has already been operated upon, and determines that from now on she will do exactly as she likes. She has entered a world governed by her psychological needs, and suddenly 'coincidence' flowers around her. Written by lament

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Site [Argentina]


Argentina | Spain



Release Date:

1 April 2004 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

A Meretriz e a Baleia See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Devastating to watch
3 December 2006 | by manxman-1See all my reviews

"Shattering" is about the only word that can do justice to this movie. A knockout performance from Aitana Sanchez-Gijon as a writer suffering from breast cancer who discovers letters from a photographer killed during the Spanish Civil War, who relates the story of his betrayal of the woman who loved him. The writer, recovering from a mastectomy, goes from Madrid to Argentina and traces the path that the two lovers took in 1934, when the photographer sold his lover into a brothel and subsequently tried to buy her back. The two stories - the writer trying to come to terms with her cancer, and the young woman unaware of the fate that awaits her, keep you on the edge of your seat as the dual stories unfold. The anger and bitterness of the writer at her own fate recedes as she becomes totally immersed in the fate of the other woman. A great deal of the action takes place on the Patagonian coast, where the whales come from nowhere and vanish back into the far beyond. As an expression of the mystery of existence this movie is absolutely shattering. Time and place cross so that you find the two stories converging in a way that is mesmerizing. A heart-stopping ending that will etch itself on your memory. This is movie-making of a first class order. Kudos to everyone, actors, director and writer for a wholly original experience. Do anything you can to get your hands on this movie.

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