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Cautiva

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Sep 11, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Cristina’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is suddenly escorted from her strict Catholic school in Buenos Aires and told that she is really Sofía Lombardi, the daughter of activists who disappeared in the ‘70s. Questioning everything she once thought true, Cristina embarks on a journey to find her true identity. Meeting others like herself, the young girl soon discovers the real-life horrors of Argentina's relatively recent past and the nightmare that claimed tens of thousands of lives during the country's "dirty war."

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bárbara Lombardo, Susana Campos, Hugo Arana, Osvaldo Santoro, Noemí Frenkel
  • Directors: Gaston Biraben
  • Writers: Gaston Biraben
  • Producers: Gaston Biraben, Marcelo Altmark, Raúl Alberto Tosso, Tammis Chandler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QGE84M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,544 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cautiva" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm giving five stars to this film not only to compensate the two stars given by another reviewer, but because the film deserves five stars. To appreciate this film you need to have an idea of the political unrest that Latin America - Argentina in this case - went through during the 60's and 70's, and the consequences of the political and psychological repression that still is affecting thousands of lives.
This film is quiet touching and tender, Cautiva is a straightforward, well told story with no-frills, a film that by no means appeals to the aficionados of Hollywood cinema.
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Format: DVD
CAUTIVA ('Captive') is a very effective film by young writer/director Gaston Biraben who has taken to task the impact of Argentina's 'Dirty War' of the late 1970s and succeeds in making a very personal story out of the horror of the 'desaparecidos' tragedy that stole from Argentina some of its brightest minds - and 'reassigned' the children of these 'disappeared ones' who were born in the prisons to political friends of the dictatorship. While the concept is gruesome as history and as content, Biraben manages to recreate that terrifying period of time in terms of the present. This retrospective study makes a huge impact.

Cristina Quadri (the deeply impressive Bárbara Lombardo) lives with her parents in Buenos Aires, attending a Catholic girls' school, seemingly a happy young teenager. One regular day she is called to the principal's office and told she must visit a judge, a frightening concept for a young girl who is forced to go without informing her parents. The judge informs her that she is not 'Cristina Quadri' but instead 'Sofía Lombardi', the daughter of a couple who 'disappeared' in 1978 as political prisoners. A recent blood test Cristina/Sofia thought was a follow-up for a post-op check was actually a test to match her blood with that of the newly discovered true parents' family. Cristina, stunned by her lack of true identity, confronts her 'adopted parents' and struggles with the officials who insist she be returned to her blood relatives. Cristina becomes close to another 'adopted' girl and the two explore their roots, finding that they were born in prisons and then given to police officials to be placed in homes.
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Format: DVD
A little disappointed" apparently was expecting and wanting a different kind of movie than the one she saw. It's not a documentary about the inhumanities of the "Dirty War." It's not a thriller about one of the perpetrators being brought to justice. It doesn't, as another reviewer pointed out, have any car chases or any other shoot-em-up action. It's the story of a teenage girl plunged into crisis, her lifelong certainties, including her loving "parents" and godfather, swept away. Told by a federal judge that she's actually Sofia Lombardi, not Christina Quadri, that her biological parents were abducted by federal police and never seen again, and sent to live with a stranger who insists she's her grandmother, she at first fiercely resists and wants only to be reunited with the only parents she's ever known, who genuinely love her. But she eventually, with the help of another girl whose father was disappeared, becomes obsessed with her mother's fate and her own origin. Thanks to her digging and the help of that friend she begins to find out bits and pieces of her parents' fate until, in a scene heartbreaking in its quiet intensity, she discovers the when and where of her own origin and is given a glimpse of the love and courage of her doomed mother. The sparse but pivotal answers she obtains change forever her view of past and present, and of the people, one in particular, who had heretofore had a formative influence in her life. The loose ends are not tied up. She gets just a glimpse of her mother during a critical two-day span. But that very indeterminateness, and the fact that she found out anything at all, is part of the power of this deeply moving film.
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Format: DVD
Already told before in "The Official Story," this Argentine film revisits the fate of families with "adopted" children born to "disappeared" political dissidents in the 1970s. This time it is the child's version of that story, as a schoolgirl discovers and slowly comes to understand that the parents who have raised her in fact acquired her illegally, and that her actual parents were killed while being held in clandestine prisons by secret police. The telling of this story, for all the melodrama inherent in it, is very even-handed, measured, and focused on the difficulty of coming to terms with learning that one's entire young life has been based on a terrible lie. This film is nicely scripted and the performances are affecting and believable. Well worth watching, and heart-breaking as we learn of the two young lives snuffed out by the military authorities who ruled Argentina at the time.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Oscar-winner The Official Story was an excellent movie, but Cautiva went even further. It was able to capture the essence of Argentina's drama regarding the children of the disappeared in ways that the former didn't. It's one of those films you never forget.
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