White Elephant

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White Elephant

Pablo Trapero (2012)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Argentinian director Pablo Trapero (Lion's Den, Carancho) considers the challenge of keeping the faith in the face of suffering and injustice in this impeccably performed drama that makes effective use of its Buenos Aires locations. The title actually refers to the massive shell of an unfinished hospital building - a real-life monument to Argentina's turbulent political past - which towers over a shantytown that's home to the poverty-stricken flock of a dedicated yet pragmatic priest, played by Ricardo Darín. Caught between the city council, the church hierarchy and the local narcotics barons, he's learned to follow the testing path of diplomacy, but the arrival of Jérémie Renier's big-hearted but impetuous Belgian missionary is to prove the tipping point in various neighbourhood conflicts. Trapero's film does spend rather too long on a low simmer, and never quite ignites as drama, but it certainly offers food for thought in exploring the conundrums involved in trying to make a difference.


A priest uses his political connections to get a hospital built in the slums of Buenos Aires, but his work is disrupted by corrupt authorities and conflict between rival drug gangs, which is steadily reaching all-out war. A second clergyman joins him in his work, but the new arrival's faith has been challenged by tragedy. Drama, starring Ricardo Darin, Jeremie Renier and Martina Gusman. In Spanish.

Cast & Crew

Father Julián Ricardo Darin
Father Nicolás Jérémie Renier
Luciana Martina Gusman
Monito Federico Benjamín Barga
Lisandro Walter Alfredo Jakob
Cruz Mauricio Sergio Minetti
Bishop Raul Ramos
Sandoval Pablo Gatti
Carmelita Susana Varela
Danilo Julio Zarza
Chato Esteban Díaz
Director Pablo Trapero
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Other Information

Language: Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Axiom FilmsGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse.Available on: DVDReleased on: 26 Apr 2013