Title: El Clan

Director: Pablo Trapero

Starring: Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Lili Popovich, Gastón Cocchiarale, Giselle Motta, Franco Masini, Antonia Bengoechea, Stefania Koessl.

The Story of the Puccio Family gets immortalised on the big screen, through the eye of director Pablo Trapero.

The first impression as you watch the movie, is that it approaches the sinister aftermath of Argentina’s last military dictatorship as a bull in a china shop.   To begin with we seem to be flaunted violence without a cause, which will make sense with the completion of the narrative.

Trapero wants to depict how the military government in Argentina, after seizing power in 1976, went on to kidnap, torture and disappear some 30,000 “dissidents.” Invoking the fight against communism and guerrilla warfare, the dictatorship committed countless crimes against humanity.

We are introduced with an apparently respectable family of the 80s, in the traditional neighbourhood of San Isidro, that makes a living off kidnapping and murder. The clan led by Arquímedes Puccio began committing crimes in the last years of this dictatorship and then continued in the first years of the fledgeling democracy. The moment we see the personal repercussions of the horrific actions on the family, we fully comprehend the perverse regime that waged its terror in broad daylight.

The actors interpret with naturalism the components of the The Clan. Their performance smoothly blends with the archive material, that recreates the climate of these dark days, from the televised announcement by the dictator Leopoldo Galtieri that the country has lost the war against England to the first speech by Raúl Alfonsín, who was sworn in as president in December of 1983.

Perturbation builds up gradually, during the vision of the film. The final actions of the members of ‘El Clan’ will flabbergast you because they amplify how nothing in Argentina will ever be the same again.

Technical: B

Acting: B+

Story: B

Overall: B

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi


By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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