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Brilliant and Moving Argentinean Film
on 4 November 2013
This is the latest from acclaimed Argentinean director Pablo Traper (`Carancho', and `Lion's Den') and he has teamed up with Ricardo Darin again who starred in `Carancho' but has graced some classics. This is about the work the Catholic Church does in deprived areas. Set in the slums of Buenos Aires in a place known as `Villa Virgin'; where they have been trying to build a community hospital since 1937.
Father Julian (Darin) is working with his long time friend father Nicolas (Jeremie Renier -`The kid with a bike', `My Way' and `In Bruges'); they are helped by volunteers one of which is an atheist social worker in it for socialist reasons. They have to deal with the drug gangs and turf wars, a police force that is as violent as the gangs and grinding poverty. We also have questions of faith and Sainthood and the inevitability that action for change will always lead to conflict.
This is one of those films that unashamedly pulls on your heart strings, and it certainly got mine. The musical score is excellent as well as is the soundtrack. All of the acting is par excellence and it is obvious that for some of the cast they had never been in front of a camera before. Darin is a tour de force as always but Jeremie Renier has genuine on screen chemistry with Martina Gusman playing the social worker Luciana (she too was in `Carancho'and `Lion's Den'). The issues it tackles it does so in a grown up way but as I said it is very hard to remain detached when you see what is taking place. This is in Spanish with a touch of French all translated well and runs for 105 minutes and I was left very moved by the end and can only recommend thoroughly.