Chronicle of an Escape
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A soccer player is suddenly ripped from the field and finds himself on the floor of a horrific detention center. What follows is a living hell of interrogations and relentless mental and physical abuse. Alongside other young detainees, he battles to survive while awaiting his fate to be decided. With execution looking certain, he and three other prisoners will risk their lives and make a desperate and extraordinarily brave move for freedom.
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I am an American and this is why I found the film interesting. We are thinking a lot in 2009 about our own government in recent years locking up and whisking off presumed bad guys and abusing them in rather primal ways. It is good to contemplate the realities of political torture, though of course it is not easy to compare Argentine politics directly with the contemporary situation that concerns us. Do I need to say this twice? It is only the chaos of crude methods of supposedly extracting information that hints at comparison.
It was a well-made film about a true story from a very ugly chapter in Argentine history when a military dictatorship took over. I have seen films about the era of the "disappearances" the desaparacidos and The Official Story (La historia oficial) (1985)is one that I thought was outstanding. This one for example helped me as an American to better understand how not only brutal but really sick those days were and had a plot that drew you in.
Chronicle of an Escape is mostly about torture and escape and does not flesh out very well the historical context for the personal torments. But if you know at least a bit of the history it can help flesh out and bring to life aspects of the human dimensions of what people in Argentina went through. I know enough of the history to have found it engrossing, but I think it would have been more engrossing to Argentinians.
So I would say it was a good film in all technical respects and a good effort to document an important personal story for modern history.So with reservations I give it 5 stars.
Is this a keeper? I have not made up my mind. The "Making of An Escape" special feature was annoying -- it seemed like self indulgent fluff and the crew was having altogether too good a time for such a serious topic and had too little to say about the era or about film-making.
The "Deleted Sequences" were quite interesting, however, and you could imagine how the film could have been edited to have a rather different texture.
The trip to Stockholm was worth watching but was not what it could have been. It did put real faces on some of the characters in the film after they had grown older. The special features all had English subtitles and so that was good for me.
I really wish that there had been a director's or producers commentary to help make more clear for non-Argentinians some of the subtle interpersonal relationships. Then I would watch it again. As it is I think I will sit on it awhile and see if I am inspired to go back and get into some of the details that were hard to be sure of. For me they were not really important. Like did his sister betray the soccer star to protect her boyfriend? If the answer is there, it would not be important to me because in general Argentinians were crippled by fear and this would only have been another disgusting example.
Is it okay for this demonic treatment to be practiced for any reason, under any circumstances, to whomever is thought guilty of any crime or show of power? This well made film has managed to strike too close to my heart for me not to react with fear, disbelief and maudlin curiosity.
Everything was done perfectly. The character development was extensive and finished characters were so real (to me) that I was truely afraid of them. I cringed quite frequently due to the Actors challenging roles coming across as absolutely real-life people. The story, coming from real life was not over-played and not softened to appease the tastes of the majority of viewers.
This was not made to be classisfied as a "Horror" Movie, but in fact, in this case, life and the people involved as the sadistic torturers and murderers was sadly all HORRORS!!!
WOW! What a film!