The Clan (15)
DIRECTED BY: Pablo Trapero
STARRING: Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Lili Popovich
RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes
Pablo Trapero’s brilliant new film The Clan is an unsettling and provocative thriller which can also be read as an allegory about bad faith and corruption in the post-dictatorship Argentina of the 1980s. What makes it all the more disturbing is that is based on a true story. During the military junta and the years of the “Dirty War,", the Government was behind the disappearance and death of many of its own citizens.
After the fall of General Galtieri, some of his old henchmen kept up the bad work, kidnapping, ransoming and sometimes killing their fellow citizens. The violence had become part of everyday life.
Trapero’s ingenious screenplay confounds audience expectations. The most sympathetic character here is also one of the most monstrous. Alejandro Puccio (Peter Lanzani) is a good looking young rugby star, playing for the national team. He seems sensitive and everybody likes him. Even so, he is a willing helper when his father Arquimedes (a chilling performance from Guillermo Francella), a patriarch with links to the old military regime, orchestrates the kidnappings.
This is a family drama. Trapero accentuates the ordinariness of the Puccio clan. We see them eating meals together. We follow Alejandro’s sporting triumphs and his courtship of a beautiful young woman. All the time, we are aware that the kidnapping victims are being held in squalor in the basement and that these victims’ relatives are mad with grief.
Geoffrey McNab - The Independent
FRIDAY 28 April 2017
Doors: 7.30pm Film 8pm
Rotten Tomatoes - 90%
The Guardian - ★★★★
The Telegraph - ★★★★
The Independent - ★★★★★
The Times - ★★★★