Argentina, 1985

Ricardo Darín plays the role of prosecutor Julio Strassera, a forced hero in the race against time to prosecute and convict the military juntas for the crimes committed by their bloody dictatorship
argentina 1985 POSTER


It was the first time in history that a civilian court succeeded in trying and convicting a military dictatorship. It happened in 1985, after the judges of the Court of Appeal managed to wrest from the military justice system the case of the thousands of detainees, kidnapped, tortured, murdered and disappeared who plagued not only Argentina, but also Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay in that sinister alliance between the dictatorships of the Southern Cone, known as Operation Condor.  

Now, from 30 September and simultaneously in 60 Spanish cities, A Contracorriente Films is releasing the Amazon original film "Argentina, 1985", which tells the story of the struggle of the prosecutor Julio Strassera and his assistant, Luis Moreno Ocampo, to gather evidence and convince the still living witnesses to appear, in order to prove the guilt of Videla, Massera and other members of the leadership of the successive military juntas, who ruled the country with an iron fist between 1976 and 1983. All this so that they could have a fair trial, which they had denied their victims under the pretext of being on the other side of a supposed civil war.   

Directed by Santiago Mitre, who co-wrote the screenplay with his usual collaborator Mariano Llinás, and starring Ricardo Darín, the film avoids the usual Hollywood coups de grâce to focus on the dry harshness of the testimonies, much more effective than if they were accompanied by illustrations of those massive tortures and rapes that the military carried out at dozens of clandestine detention centres scattered all over the immense geography of the country. 

argentina 1985 POSTER

Darín embodies with sobriety and full credibility the role of the prosecutor Strassera, until then a civil servant who does his job without taking risks but who, taking Shakespeare's witness that "greatness is forced upon some men", assumes his destiny as a national and universal hero. A husband and father of a normal family, Strassera will withstand all the pressures and threats that "the service", the military espionage, will not cease to launch against himself, his wife and children and the young team of lawyers he surrounds himself with, once he sees the desertion for one reason or another of the colleagues he trusted to help him.  

Peter Lanzani plays the deputy prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, for whom this will be the first case of his professional life, recruiter of the members of the young team that will achieve in the imperative short period of just five months the evidence and testimonies of the systematic genocide operated by the Argentinean dictatorship.

The film has a "Korean footage", almost two and a half hours, which is watched with the tension of not missing a shot, a gesture or an expression. There is not a single drop of blood splashing on the screen at any time, but you feel the emotion of every moment, which explodes in a final plea in which every accusatory word is a whiplash.

Argentinian cinema has named this film its Oscar nominee, but it has just won the Audience Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and is aiming for more trophies at the next one in London. Viewers who were contemporaries of those episodes will relive it with renewed attention; younger viewers have a good opportunity to learn about the most sinister period in Argentina's history through the cinema.