Films: Carancho

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Argentina, 2010, 107 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Spanish English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Pablo Trapero
Producer: Pablo Trapero
Editor: Ezequiel Borovinsky, Pablo Trapero
Screenwriter: Alejandro Fandel, Martín Mauregui, Santiago Mitre, Pablo Trapero
Cinematographer: Julián Apezteguia
Principal Cast: Ricardo Darín, Martina Gusman, Carlos Weber, José Luis Arias, Loren Acuña

For Argentinian filmmaker Pablo Trapero, San Justo in Buenos Aires is an earthly hell from which there is no escape. Trapero first explored the rough neighborhood in 2002 with El bonaerense, an examination of casual police corruption through the eyes of a naïve recruit; upon his return, it seems things have gotten even worse. In the sordid, night-haunted streets of the district lurk a pair of lost souls: an ambulance-chasing lawyer named Sosa (Ricardo Darin), who takes plenty of lumps himself as he manipulates the personal-injury cases of auto accident victims, and a pretty young doctor, Lujan (Martina Gusman), caught in a web of malfeasant hospital administrators and cynical workmates—and dulling her own pain by shooting dope into her feet. In their world of vultures, thugs and scammers, it means nothing to smash an elderly man's leg with a sledgehammer to collect insurance money or beat a rival to death with a metal file drawer—or, for that matter, to fall in love. Though romance develops between Sosa and Lujan, Trapero doesn’t hold out much hope for the redemption of the troubled lovers. Shot by cinematographer Julian Apezteguia in a gritty, no-nonsense style that recalls classic American film noir, this unsparing glimpse of Argentinian society in economic and moral crisis provides in turn a look at one of South America's most gifted directors at the height of his powers, eliciting performances to match. —Bill Gallo

In Cooperation with Buenos Aires Pizzeria

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