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Argentina, 2003, 100 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Family Issues
Program: Focus on Nation Cinema: ArgentinaLanguage: Spanish English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Daniel Burman
Producer: Diego Dubcovsky, Daniel BurmanEditor: Alejandro BrodersohnScreenwriter: Marcelo Birmajer, Daniel BurmanCinematographer: Ramiro CivitaPrincipal Cast: Daniel Hendler, Adriana Aizenberg, Jorge D'Elia, Sergio Boris, Diego Korol, Atilio Pozzobón
Ariel is a handsome, confused young man searching for his identity while spinning his wheels as a clerk in his mother’s lingerie shop in a second-rate Buenos Aires shopping mall. Life inside the mall is much like life in a small town, whose inhabitants know a little or a lot about one another’s lives. Ariel wants to know more, especially about why his father left the family before he was born. The absent father is held in high regard among the “mallsters” for nobly having gone to Israel in 1973 to fight in the Yom Kippur war, but that explanation doesn’t ring true for Ariel. In his search for answers, including his quest for a European passport, Ariel dives into a tangle of family history that sets his brain reeling. In the end he meets his father. After a meal and conversation together, the two walk away from the camera through crowded streets, their arms draped casually around each other.
Writer/director Daniel Burman, like Ariel an Argentinian of Polish-Jewish descent, draws from his own life experience in this, his second in a loose trilogy of dramatic comedies starring Uruguayan actor Daniel Hendler (as three different Ariels). Hendler won the 2004 Berlin Film Festival’s best-actor award for the role, and Lost Embrace was awarded Berlin’s Silver Bear. Burman has said identity is an issue that obsesses him. His movies have been featured in many festivals around the world. In 2002, he co-produced Walter Salles’s dramatization of Che Guevara’s motorcycle road trip, The Motorcycle Diaries. Born in 1973, Burman has been cited as one of the most talented young filmmakers of today’s New Argentine Cinema. He is a founding member of the Academy of Argentine Cinema.
- JULIET SHERWOOD
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