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Argentina, 2006, 102 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Family Issues
Program: Focus on Nation Cinema: ArgentinaLanguage: Spanish English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Daniel Burman
Producer: Diego DubcovskyEditor: Alejandro ParysowScreenwriter: Mónica BarberoCinematographer: Ramiro CivitaPrincipal Cast: Julieta Diaz, Daniel Hendler, Arturo Goetz, Eloy Burman, Adriana Aizenberg
In this dramatic comedy that draws heavily from his own life, writer-director Daniel Burman continues his exploration of the relationship between a son and his father as Argentinians of Polish-Jewish extraction. Family Law, the third film in his loosely knit trilogy, is the story of two “Dr. Perelmans,” both lawyers but practicing their profession along separate paths. Their lifestyles are different, too. Perelman senior, a popular public defender whose clients are mostly poor, follows a meticulous daily routine, while Perelman junior, a professor of law in Buenos Aires, often sleeps in his suit.
Ariel Perelman (Daniel Hendler, who played different “Ariels” in the previous two films, Waiting for the Messiah and Lost Embrace), marries one of his students and the couple have a son (Eloy Burman, son of the director). When his wife (Julieta Diaz) goes away for a Pilates retreat, Ariel finds himself suddenly in charge of the toddler’s daily routine. He begins to bond with the boy in scenes that contrast with the distant relationship Ariel has experienced with his own father (Arturo Goetz). Yet Ariel frets that he is becoming just like his father—or is he the exact opposite? The elder Perelman is a mystery to his son, who secretly follows him around to learn more about him. He tries to ascertain whether his widowed father is having an affair with his longtime secretary.
Body language and silence speak louder than words in Family Law. Lilting klezmer music by César Lerner accompanies the action. Buenos Aires’s passionate pace underscores that of the principals’ lives.
- JULIET SHERWOOD
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