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Imagining Argentina

  • Drama
  • Romance
  • 2003
  • Christopher Hampton
  • 103 mins
  • 15

Summary

Political drama starring Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson. With Argentina suffering under a military junta, the journalist wife of a theatre director writes an article about people who have mysteriously "disappeared". Shortly after, the woman herself goes missing and her husband develops seemingly supernatural powers by which he can "see" his wife's terrible fate.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

The idea that imagination can free people trapped in horrendous circumstances has been used in movies as diverse as Brazil and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Writer/director Christopher Hampton here explores a similar theme against the backdrop of Argentina's military dictatorship but fluffs it badly, despite delivering a worthwhile reminder of a grim period in that country's history. Carlos (Antonio Banderas) is a children's theatre director whose journalist wife (Emma Thompson) is arrested by the junta and becomes one of the growing legion of the "disappeared". Carlos discovers that he can psychically "see" the fates of these victims, though his wife's whereabouts remain a mystery. While this kind of magical realism may have worked in the novel from which the film is adapted, here it just looks ludicrous: Banderas comes across like a politically charged Doris Stokes; Thompson's character exists mainly to be brutalised by pantomime sadists and the dénouement is bog-standard Hollywood mush.

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Credits

Cast

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Carlos RuedaAntonio Banderas
Cecilia RuedaEmma Thompson
Silvio AyalaRubén Blades
Esme PalomaresMaria Canals
Teresa RuedaLeticia Dolera
Gustavo SantosKuno Becker
Amos SternbergJohn Wood (2)
Sara SternbergClaire Bloom

Crew

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DirectorChristopher Hampton

Details

Theatrical distributor
UIP
Released on
2004-04-30
Languages
English | Spanish
Guidance
May be edited for language and violence.
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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