The Clan (El clan)
Wednesday 25 August at 7.30pm
Pablo Trapero│Argentina/Spain│2015│108 mins│R13 violence, offensive language & sex scenes
The compelling and shocking true story of Argentina’s crime family, the Puccios, and of their ruthless kidnapping and ransom operation in 1980s Buenos Aires.
“There are scary dads, and then there’s Arquímedes Puccio (Guillermo Francella, a terrifying dead-behind-the-eyes presence). The suburban Buenos Aires patriarch implicated his entire family in a series of kidnappings of their wealthy neighbours over a number of years, keeping his victims in the basement of his home so that they would suffer and scream below while the family sat down to dinner. Puccio’s crimes began as state-sponsored acts during the late 1970s military dictatorship but he continued under his own steam during the transfer to democracy – and one of the film’s big themes is how high-level corruption can seep down in horrible, unpredictable, painful ways. Director Pablo Trapero recalls the case in gruesome, macabre detail, exploring it with energy and elan from the perspective of the family and focusing especially on Arquímedes’s fraught power relationship with his eldest son, Alejandro (Peter Lanzani). The Clan shouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is. But it’s a delight to be in the hands of a storyteller who can impress you with his stylistic bravado while never losing sight of the suffering at the story’s heart.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out