Published on March 8th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
Beyond the Oscars: 5 Great Movies from Argentina
If you pay attention to the Academy Awards, you know that The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos), a police drama from Argentina, won the Oscar for best foreign language film last night.
If you need an Argentinean film fix, but can’t wait for this movie to jump into your Netflix queue, not to worry. I’ve picked out five noteworthy movies from down Argentine way (and I’m headed to Buenos Aires next week to make some movies of my own, albeit of the travel video variety). And please be sure to share your own list of favorite films from Argentina!
1. The Official Story (La Historia Oficial): This heartbreaking drama —winner of best foreign film in 1985 — is about a woman in Buenos Aires who slowly comes to realize that the child that she and her husband adopted was a victim of the government’s disappearances during the so-called Dirty War of the 1970s.
2. Nine Queens
(Nueve Reinas): This sly 2000 caper weaves a tangled story of deceit and con games, with intriguing plot twists. If you liked The Spanish Prisoner
, you’ll love this. It was nominated for 28 awards in Latin America, the United States and Europe, and won 21 of them. (Travelers take note: much of the action takes place at the Hilton Buenos Aires
, in the Puerto Madero district.)
3. Plata Quemada (sometimes called Burnt Money): This 2000 crime drama tells the true story of two gay men who become lovers and participate in a bank robbery in 1965 Buenos Aires. Among its critical recognition was the Goya award for best Spanish language film in 2001.
4. Apartment Zero: Colin Firth (who stars in this year’s well-received A Single Man) plays the off-kilter owner of a revival movie house in Buenos Aires, in this 1989 psychological drama.
5. Evita: All right, all right. I know I’ll get some flack for mentioning the 1996 movie version of this rock opera, which was especially controversial in some circles because of its choice of Madonna to play Argentine first lady Eva Duarte de Perón. But it’s still an entertaining musical.