The Secret in Their Eyes View large image
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Film Details

Directed by: Juan Jose Campanella

Produced: 2009

Countries & Regions: Argentina, Spain

DVD Details

Certificate: 18

Length: 124 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 10 January 2011

Cat No: MTD5582

Extras:
Languages(s): Spanish
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Scene Access

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The Secret in Their Eyes

Cast: Ricardo Darín , Guillermo Francella , Soledad Villamil , Carla Quevedo , Pablo Rago , Javier Godino , Barbara Palladino , Rudy Romano , Alejandro Abelenda , Mario Alarcon , Sebastian Blanco , Mariano Argento

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Juan Jose Campanella writes and directs this Argentinian crime drama based on the novel by Eduardo Sacheri. 25 years after the event,... Read More

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Juan Jose Campanella writes and directs this Argentinian crime drama based on the novel by Eduardo Sacheri. 25 years after the event, Buenos Aires federal justice employee Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darin) remains deeply affected by an unsolved case involving the brutal rape and murder of a young girl in 1974. Meanwhile, he is also struggling with a strong attraction towards his boss, investigating judge Irene Hastings (Soledad Villamil). The film won the 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.

It was quite a surprise when this relatively unknown Argentinean film beat A Prophet and The White Ribbon to win the 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Ostensibly a police procedural, it is also a probing examination of the evasiveness of memory and coming to terms with past traumas. Unsurprisingly, it was hugely successful in its native country.

It is Argentina. 1999. Benjamin Esposito (played by Ricardo Darin) is a divorced, retired police officer who decides to write a novel about a long abandoned cold case (a young schoolteacher who was raped and murdered some 25 years earlier). The film passes back and forth between 1999 and 1974, as Esposito and his partner Sandoval (Guillermo Francella playing a blinder as an alcoholic given to loudly and drunkenly denouncing the corrupt government) investigate the crime. This is complicated by the aforementioned corruption (best seen when Esposito’s right wing rival beats a confession from two innocent migrant workers) and blossoming feelings for his boss, Irene (played by the Picasso-faced Soledad Villamil) – feelings that still exist 25 years later when Esposito meets Irene again. 



Less a whodunit than a look-at-the-effect-the-murder-had-on-all-these-people, The Secrets in Their Eyes is the kind of grown-up challenging drama many of us go to the cinema for in the first place, the kind of drama that, in lesser hands, could have easily have been trite or hammy. The intercutting between past and present and the combination of fictionalised memories, plausible conjecture and unverifiable reports helps create a genuinely complex movie that links private lives and troubled social currents over a quarter of a century. There are also great technical qualities to admire such as a long chase scene through a football stadium.



Not for nothing has Sight & Sound claimed The Secrets in Their Eyes is leading a vanguard of new Latin American movies.

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