Another mediocre Argentinean film to ride into town on a wave of inexplicable critical approval, Cautiva cowers in the shadow of Andrés Wood’s artful and daring political drama Machuca, the story of a revolution and its effects on two boys from very different social strata. Gastón Biraben’s film is an impossibly safe and drawn-out melodrama about a teenage girl, Cristina (Bárbara Lombardo), who learns that her real parents mysteriously disappeared during Argentina’s military regime in the 1970s. Pulling her from Catholic school one day, a federal judge flips a switch on the brown-eyed girl’s life, and though she is resistant at first to the truth about her identity, Cristina will go on to live with her biological grandmother and go sleuthing for information about her leftist parents, finally confronting her adoptive guardians about their ideologies and how the former police chief and his wife came to possess her. Biraben wants to throw his main character for a loop but doesn’t possess the necessary patience to show how her life of privilege is an affront to her biological mother and father’s politics. The truth will set this girl free, but her activist spirit is easily and unimaginatively stirred. One thing Biraben does have patience for is the sort of dramatically-scored flashbacks and scenes of legalese familiar to his country’s telenovelas.
- Laemmle/Zeller Films
- 115 min
- Gastón Biraben
- Gastón Biraben
- Bárbara Lombardo, Susana Campos, Hugo Arana, Osvaldo Santoro, Noemí Frenkel, Lidia Catalano, Mercedes Funes, Silvia Baylé, Luis Gianne, oMargara Alonso, Roxana Berco, Marcela Ferradás, Antonio Ugo, Floria Bloise, César Bordón, Hana Purita, Gisèle Benoldi
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: