In 1977, the goalkeeper of the Almagro team Claudio Tamburrini is illegally kidnapped from his home, arrested by the government forces and sent blindfolded to Sere Mansion, a clandestine detention center. His acquaintance Tano, who had been tortured for a long period, had falsely accused Claudio of being a revolutionary. Along the months, Claudio is kept nude and handcuffed together with the prisoners El Gallego, El Vasco and Guillermo Fernández and submitted to all sort of humiliations and tortures, until the night they decide to escape from their imprisonment in the old mansion.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This Argentinian movie set in the 1970s presents the real life story of four prisoners who manage a successful escape from their military junta captors during the Dirty War era in Argentina. The Dirty War era was a dark and infamous period in the history of Argentina when the right wing military government was responsible for the disappearance of several thousands - some estimates put the number at about 30,000 - of Argentinians on the pretext that they were suspected left wing terrorists.
This movie retells the real life story of Claudio Tamburrini and three of his fellow prisoners who manage to escape from a secret detention center. Claudio is a goalkeeper in a minor league soccer team and is abducted by the military secret police who suspect him to be a leftist terrorist. Their suspicion is merely based on the questionable testimony of another captive and they swoop down on an unsuspecting Claudio at his residence. Before Claudio could even grapple with the happenings, he is whisked away to a desolate detention center in a suburb where he is held as a blindfolded captive for several months along with others without any due process. The captives are put through a daily rigour of sadistic violence and humiliation in the name of interrogation by their captors who tend to play dangerous mindgames with the hapless captives. This movie is based on the autobiographical account by Claudio with further inputs from his fellow escapee Guillermo who leads their audacious escape on a stormy night.
The focus in the movie is on the daily ordeals faced by the captives and the unflinching cruelty of the thugs of the junta who inflict unspeakable horrors on them. The movie has a dark and foreboding tone throughout to provide a realistic edge to the happenings with just tiny flecks of rooted situational humour and the final act of escape is set as a thriller, albeit, sans any heightened drama. However, the movie does not bother acquainting the viewers with the social context to the unfolding events. Perhaps, this is one reason why there is a sense of something amiss while watching the movie.
Nevertheless, this competently acted movie is successful in presenting a very real account of the chilling, visceral torture meted out to the captives without being overtly gruesome and has a gripping and taut narrative which keeps the viewer tense throughout.
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