Set in a small,run down shopping centre in downtown modern day Buenos Aires, Lost Embrace is a wry, observational comedy that follows the life of Ariel (Daniel Hendler), a young man who is determined to secure a European passport and leave Argentina for Europe. At least, this is what you are meant to think for much of the beginning of the film. In fact, it emerges that Ariel's mother,Sonia (Adriana Aizemberg)has never been completely straight with him about why his father never returned from fighting in Israel. When Ariel's father returns to Buenos Aires for a long overdue first encounter with his young adult son, he brings with him a new story, new truths and a hitherto lost embrace.
I really enjoyed the film. It is very cleverly written, on the one hand witty and engaging, on the other a bittersweet story of the relationship between a son and his long lost father.
Director Daniel Burman is extremly skilled in using ensemble casts, full of quirky, loveable and amusing characters and Lost Embrace is no exception.
It was the Argentinian entry for the Oscars in 2004. Many critics have said that he is the 'Argentinian Woody Allen.' Whilst I loath making comparisons between different generations of directors, it is a pretty accurate description. Burman has the same grasp of the environment he is working in, and the characters who typically inhabit it. It lends the movie a great sense of reality, as Allen does in his best movies (invaribly set in New York), whilst never forgetting how to entertain and the absurditiy of many things in everyday life.
I strongly recommend this film and this director.