As straightforward in its conception as its unfussy title, Mitre’s latest can be described as an effectively utilitarian piece of cinema that exists to preserve the historical memory of his homeland and to pay tribute to some of the people who ensured that for once, the arc of history, as insufficient and belated as it usually is, did bend towards justice.
Stream Argentina, 1985
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
A courtroom drama with a committed, awards-worthy performance from Ricardo Darin, this tense, lengthy, frequently funny film stands with the best of the genre, but with added resonance.
That Argentina, 1985 managed to toggle between such emotionally raw material and more amped-up, tension-driven subplots — as Strassera and his family weather death threats and cars explode in public squares — without seeming callous or dramatically opportunistic is a credit to Mitre, whose grasp on his story is high-key and emotionally immediate, but never glib.
The balance between detail and momentum can at times be off, and the helmer doesn’t entirely avoid generic tropes of the legal drama. But he conveys the enormity of the undertaking at the film’s center — the first major war crimes trial since Nuremberg — and it’s felt in every moment of Darín’s compelling portrayal.
This may be an offbeat and textured snapshot of history, but it still holds at its core cold anger on behalf of the dictatorship’s victims and interest in how the people will receive updates about their future.