Directed by Benjamín Naishtat
HOME, 7 September 2019
This disconcerting, disquieting film is set in Argentina prior to mid-’70s coup.
The protagonist is Claudio (Darío Grandinetti), a successful lawyer who is at the edge of violence. He is a moral agent who chooses not to act. Is it complicit in murder? Well, not if he can be later implicated. Does he stand up to injustice and profiteering? There would be a danger in that, wouldn’t there, so no. He is reluctant, yet willing to turn a blind eye.
The import of the film seems to be that state acts – and here one thinks of Latin America’s ‘Disappeared’ – are preceded by individual acts of violence, theft, jealousy, a desire to profit from others’ misfortune. We see the shadows – an eclipse even – before the darkness falls. At the film’s end, anyway, darkness does fall.
In one scene a mother goes into a church because her son is missing. He has not returned home, has disappeared. A priest is nowhere to be seen. The response of man in prayer, an avowed Christian (Alfredo Castro, who plays a private detective, brilliantly), is along the lines of: ‘I am not your son’s keeper.’
A very impressive accomplishment.