Paulina | Chicago Reader

Paulina

A law student in Buenos Aires abandons her studies to teach a political science class at a rural high school near the Paraguayan border—she hopes to better the lives of impoverished adolescents, but her students don't respond to her noble intentions. This 2015 Argentine drama (a remake of a 1960 feature called La Patota) questions the value of political idealism in Brechtian fashion, presenting the heroine as alternately admirable and misguided and forcing viewers to decide what they make of her. Dolores Fonzi gives an impressive lead performance, rendering the protagonist three-dimensional but refusing to make her overly sympathetic. The jerky handheld cinematography can be distracting, but on the whole this is engrossing and thought-provoking. Santiago Mitre directed a script he wrote with Mariano Llinás. In Spanish and Guarani with subtitles.

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