Chile 1973 is ruled by the dictator Pinochet. The wealthy don't see the violence, terror, executions etc. including Irene. She's engaged to an officer in the fascist military. She meets Francisco who opens her eyes to truth and love.
When it became clear that two additional scenes would help the script, a) the quarrel about whether Cecilia should publish her article and b) the flashback scene why the Cecilia and Carlos got married, there was a little competition going on between 'Christopher Hampton' and 'Emma Thompson', who both wrote their versions of those scenes. Emma Thompson's version of the flashback scene finally was agreed on. See more »
When Cecilia is seen by Carlos in the roof of "Casa Rosada", there is a modern surveillance camera near the characters. Those cameras were not available in 1976. See more »
Antonio Banderas plays a theatre director whose wife (Emma Thompson) has been kidnapped by the Secret Service of Argentinian's Videla's dictatorship (1976-1983). Soon he discovers he has sort of a psychic power that allows him to predict the future, and to find out what has happened to her wife and to some of the other missing people (there were +/- 30000 missing people during Videla's dictatorship). Now I wonder: Is it necessary to introduce that paranormal stuff in a movie about Argentinian dictatorship? I mean, you got one of the most cruel and repressive dictatorships ever, and that's enough to make a shocking movie. The psychic powers, the vissions of Banderas' character detract the attention from the main line: the denunciation of that regimen led by General Videla and supported by USA Government, and the atrocities that were committed, the sistematic violation of human rights, and so... Especially when you have two well known stars in the cast, and the movie may have some international impact (which didn't have any of the argentinian movies that talked about the same issue).
Anyway, some parts of the movie perfectly portraits the lack of freedom in Argentina along those 7 years, and there are some sequences really shocking (in particular the ones at the prison where Emma Thompson's character gets imprisoned -and tortured, and raped-). Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson play their roles with so much intensity, especially Mrs. Thompson, one of the best dramatic actresses from the last 20 years (in my opinion).
That's all. I just want to add that this kind of movies are so necessary, people need them not to forget some of the darkest passages of human history. Especially they need them there in the United States Of America, where no one knows a thing about latin-american dictatorships (most of them supported by the White House).
My rate: 7/10
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