I only heard of Argentina 1985 due to its Best International Film nomination in this years Oscars. The whole reason I watched. And I’m very glad I did because it was excellent and well worth a watch.
Argentina 1985 is about the civil trial of the military dictators whose reign of terror disappeared, tortured and killed untold amounts of people under the guise of them being enemy fights.
Despite the fact that often included children and in one case, which we hear about, a newborn.
The way it works is the civil judges decide to take the case after military courts pass. (Because obviously whole lot of military is involved.) Once they do that prosecutor Julio Strassera (Ricardo Darin) must try the case.
With the help of a friend and a fresh-faced second in command Luis (Peter Lanzani) he assembles a youthful team out to find the truth. Because, as they put it in one scene, anyone with experience is a fascist or dead.
We don’t get much of the team but they work nonetheless. Julio and Luis are both well done and we see good reasoning from both of them throughout about why this is dangerous but also needs to be done. Also interesting was why someone like Luis with family connections to the military is the perfect person to assist in the case. Both are very good.
There’s also a time limit to this trial more witnesses and stories than they could have imagined and constant threat to their lives and families.
Since I love a good court drama and know nothing about how Argentina courts work (or sadly about the history of the case itself) I was intrigued throughout the whole of the film. We do get actual witness statements (occasionally interspersed with what looks like real court footage of the case) throughout which drives home the horror and emotion. And Strassera delivers a powerful closing argument.
A mark of how much I was into this movie- at no point did I ever just Google the outcome.
I actually would have liked a little bit more of the Judges since it was ballsy, to the point of possible death, to take that case in the first place.
And one small part at the end felt a bit anti-climatic. But on the other hand I appreciate they didn’t do what every other court room drama tends to do.
Argentina 1985 is currently on Amazon Prime and is well worth a watch. It’s just a shame with the Oscars recent history of giving the International Film award to whatever film they also stick in the best picture category… I don’t see it beating Alls Quiet on the Western Front.