Bar, El Chino (2003) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Martina is a young editor that works for a television network. She is decided to make a documentary on the legendery Bar El Chino, a place where tango, friendship and love are highly valued. Her first night at Bar El Chino, she meets Jorge, a single father who was making a documentary about Bar El Chino also, but who had to leave it unfinished because of the economic depression. With the aid of Jorge, she will discover this wonderful place, get the documentary in progress, learn to love, and know what migration is like... from first-hand experience.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Jorge (48) is shooting a documentary film trying to capture the essence of Bar El Chino, a bar/restaurant in Buenos Aires (Argentina) where amateur singers come to sing Tango. During the production he befriends the bar's owner, El Chino, and the tango singers. Heartbroken when El Chino dies, Jorge decides to stop the shooting of his film returning to the production of uninspiring corporate videos.

    Meanwhile, another filmmaker, Martina, decides to make a documentary on the Bar and its Tango singers, and finds out that Jorge has already shot El Chino before his death. Marina proposes Jorge to coproduce the documentary and he reluctantly accepts. Beto, Marinas casual lover, volunteers his equipment to produce the film. Jesus, Jorges friend, decides to invest in the film and Martina and Jorge start working together. Contented by the turn of events, its evident that the production of the film is bringing them together.

    Then, the economic and political situation in Argentina becomes explosive. The government freezes peoples savings and Jorge cant withdraw the money that Jesus advanced. Jorge and Martina, frustrated by the turn of events, participate in demonstrations with thousands of people in the streets of Buenos Aires.

    Jesus company, affected by the unstable economic and political upheaval, decides to close its business in Argentina, and Jesus is unable to further invest in the film. Jorge is in despair, but Martina has more bad news: Beto has found out about her relationship with him and decided to stop helping them with the documentary.

    Jesus must return to Spain and offers Martina a job in his company. She accepts it. Without Martina, with the money caught in the bank and without the necessary equipment, Jorge is in dispair and quits the project, yet again.

    When his son Nacho learns about his fathers situation he travels to Buenos Aires bringing good news: Jorge will become a grandfather. Jorge pulls himself together and with the emotional help of his son, he finally finishes the film.

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