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El Clan

Directed by Pablo Trapero

Argentina, 2015

HOME, 13 April 2016

El Clan

This is an engaging family drama, illustrating many familiar issues.

The father is concerned about his sons’ filial loyalty: are they as committed to the family business as he is? One of the sons has met a nice girl and is thinking of settling down; a bitter-sweet predicament for the mother. There is a younger daughter who struggles with homework and an elder who works hard to succeed in business; it is tough for both. As for the mother, a teacher, she marks exercise books when at home. The work-life balance is a bit off-kilter in her case.

Of the family business, it can be said that they kill people. They kidnap people, extract a ransom from their families by threatening to kill them, usually a large tidy sum, and then kill them anyway to keep them quiet, for they are generally known to one of the kidnappers. The dead are usually found dumped on waste ground, with a bullet in their head. It is a business model which succeeds for a time then flounders when families realise that they can keep their loved ones alive by delaying payment.

An excellent film.