The Official Story | Chicago Reader

The Official Story

A middle-class Argentinean woman (Norma Aleandro) discovers that her beloved adopted daughter may actually be the child of desaparecidos—political activists spirited away by Argentina's military dictatorship. Luis Puenzo's 1985 film leaves audiences sobbing, and it does have a few genuinely powerful moments (as when the heroine's old school friend suddenly breaks into a description of her experiences as a political prisoner). But Puenzo's methods are so crudely manipulative (Aleandro is dangled as a blatant identity figure for the liberal art-house audience; a political subject is transformed into shameless melodrama via some plot mechanisms that would have brought a blush to the cheeks of Stanley Kramer) that the film quickly uses up the credit of its good intentions. With Hector Alterio. In Spanish with subtitles.

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