Films / Programs

Focus on Nation Cinema: Argentina

Along with Mexico and Brazil, Argentina has for decades been one of the top producers of films from Latin America. A staple on the film festival circuit and occasional visitor to U.S. art houses, Argentina is, however, the only South American country to ever win an Academy Award—two, in fact: The Official Story (1985) and The Secret in Their Eyes (2009).

The diverse films in this year’s focus—and there are 12 of them—range from two outsiders’ takes on living in Argentina for a year (one Polish, Argentinian Lesson, and one American, The International Sign for Choking); a nouveau, meta-Western (Salt); and the oft-examined revolutionary era of the 1970s (Clandestine Childhood). This is all anchored by a three-film tribute to the wonderful Daniel Burman.

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  • All In

    All In

    Argentina , 2012 , 110 min. This romantic comedy deals poker player Uriel a mixed hand. A divorced father of two, he’s on a winning streak with women, but when former love Gloria shows up he thinks he might want to play for keeps. Only problem, he’s used to bluffing.... more
  • Argentinian Lesson

    Argentinian Lesson

    Poland , 2011 , 61 min. Polish documentarian Wojciech Staron follows the life lessons of his son Janek when the family moves to Argentina for a year. Janek befriends a young girl who is already spending most of her days as the adult holding her family together.... more
  • Beauty


    Argentina , 2012 , 83 min. Yola, an indigenous girl employed as a maid in a remote village in Argentina, learns a hard truth of modern society. As the family she works for prepares a coming-out party for their daughter, Yola is taken advantage of in a devious, unexpected way.... more
  • Chinese Take Away

    Chinese Take Away

    Argentina , 2011 , 93 min. It all starts with a cow falling from the sky. Argentine screen icon Ricardo Darín plays a curmudgeon whose reluctant bond with a stranded Chinese immigrant (Ignacio Huang) helps him warm up to the human race.... more
  • Clandestine Childhood

    Clandestine Childhood

    Argentina , 2011 , 112 min. Benjamin Ávila’s coming-of-age tale of a boy living under an assumed name during Argentina’s military dictatorship is based on the director’s experience. While Juan’s parents continue guerrilla activities, he only wants to have a normal life.... more
  • Family Law

    Family Law

    Argentina , 2006 , 102 min. Drawing from his own life, writer-director Daniel Burman explores the relationship between father-and-son lawyers of Polish-Jewish extraction. The dramatic comedy is set to lilting klezmer music in bustling Buenos Aires.... more
  • Germania


    Argentina , 2012 , 75 min. A Volga German family on a farm in northern Argentina is beset by a mysterious plague, and some neighbors suspect divine punishment. Argentinian director/writer Maximiliano Schonfeld’s drama provides no answers.... more
  • The International Sign for Choking

    The International Sign for Choking

    USA , 2012 , 80 min. Former exchange student Josh returns to Buenos Aires to work on a film, but can’t fit in. He meets fellow American Anna; there’s a mutual attraction, but Josh’s feelings of alienation spoil any chances of a relationship.... more
  • Lost Embrace

    Lost Embrace

    Argentina , 2003 , 100 min. Young Ariel is searching for his identity while spinning his wheels as a clerk in his mother’s lingerie shop in a second-rate shopping mall. His mother’s explanation of why his father abandoned the family before he was born doesn’t ring true for him.... more
  • Mar del Plata

    Mar del Plata

    Argentina , 2012 , 82 min. When childhood friends and rivals Joaquin and David take a beach vacation together, they run into Elena, Joaquin’s ex-girlfriend, who’s married to Lautaro, a successful novelist. Suddenly their weekend escape isn’t such a getaway anymore in this comedy.... more
  • Masterplan


    Argentina , 2012 , 87 min. In this comedy, Mariano dumps his beloved vintage car after a fraud scheme goes wrong. Increasingly worried about getting caught—and about his impending marriage—he befriends a vagrant who’s taken up residence in the car, and gains a new attitude.... more
  • Salt


    Argentina , 2011 , 112 min. A writer in search of authentic experience to help him produce a believable film script finds himself in a horrific predicament. A local drug lord in the middle of Chile’s driest desert mistakes him for a heroic gunslinger whom he’s been itching to kill.... more
  • White Elephant

    White Elephant

    Argentina , 2012 , 111 min. A young European Catholic priest finds his faith tested during his tenure in Argentina, first in the jungles, where he escapes a paramilitary attack, and then in the drug-devastated slums of Buenos Aires.... more
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