Monday, 9 January 2017

The Clan.

Film producer, editor and director Pablo Trapero has been responsible for some excellent pieces of what has become widely known as New Argentine Cinema including Familia rodante (2004) a comedy drama about a family who embarks on a long road trip in an old cramped motorhome, Leonera (2008) a gritty film which addresses motherhood in the Argentinian prison system and Carancho (2010) a crime drama about ambulance chaser in search of potential clients for his law firm. His latest film is the award winning The Clan (2015) a film based on a true story about what is said to be Argentina's most notorious crime family and Trapero’s most commercially successful work to date.

Buenos Aires in the early 1980's and we are in the company of the Puccini family. Head of which is Arquimedes Puccini (Guillermo Francella), along side wife and mother Epifania (Lili Popovich) and their five children, three sons and two daughters Alejandro, Silvia, Danial, Guillermo and Adriana. All of which are involved in one way or another in the family business - kidnapping, extortion and murder. Without giving too much away, which would spoil the film, on the surface the family seem quite normal, living in what would appear to be a wealthy suburb, with the eldest son Alejandro becoming a well-known rugby player, the eldest daughter Silvia is a school teacher, with the two youngest children are still in school. Its when Arquimedes, who worked for the states intelligence service until the end of the Falklands war in 1982, becomes unemployed that he decides to turn to crime to maintain the families living standards.

Inter cut with shots of Argentina's political history and some great soundtrack, the film offers us no real insight into the motivation behind the families crimes other than perhaps money or maybe the fathers political background as part of the governments death squad and where as he thinks his is 'protected' which as you may imagine turns out not to be the case. It’s a story that's hard to believe if it was not true. On one level a cracking drama on the other a look at a countries complicity in murderous crimes.

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