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.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi