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The Whore and the Whale (2004)

La puta y la ballena (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 April 2004 (Argentina)
A Spanish writer finds an old coffer with photographs of an Argentine man who fought and died in the Spanish Civil War, and of a woman. Her quest for answers brings Vera to the Argentine Patagonia.


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo Sbaraglia ... Emilio
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón ... Vera
Pep Munné ... Jordi
Mercè Llorens Mercè Llorens ... Lola
Martín Caloni Martín Caloni ... Juanito
Pompeyo Audivert ... El gringo Orestes
Miguel Ángel Solá ... Suárez
Nicolás Tognola Nicolás Tognola ... El Pibe Pedro
Belén Blanco Belén Blanco ... Matilde
Natalia Otero Natalia Otero ... Prostituta
Carola Reyna ... Meme
Lydia Lamaison ... Matilde
Óscar Guzmán Óscar Guzmán ... Urondo
Edward Nutkiewicz Edward Nutkiewicz ... Ernesto
Nina Krakoff Nina Krakoff ... Prostituta


Vera's former publisher, a Spanish journalist and writer 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 Gary Dalkin

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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User Reviews

Ambitious Spanish drama.
25 January 2011 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

Abitious, big budget Spanish drama with lots of female nudity. It looked promising but it rings hollow.

Sánchez-Gijón gives a great performance as the uncentred writer commissioned to produce a book out of the papers of a dead civil war cameraman and, when she is in hospital for a breast removal, finds the old woman in the next bed was part of the back story, leading her to the Patagonian beach where the same whale has again been beached. She finds in this some none too clear connection to the bad treatment of women.

Handsome production with elaborate costuming, digital imagery and strong cast. Should be better.

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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:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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