Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 02/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very good black comedy that deals with a serious subject. The movie was very entertaining, enjoyable to watch and extremely funny. The humor is slapstick at times but a riot nonetheless. The story takes place in a small village in Argentina at the time of Perons return to power. The conflict is that the Peronists do not trust each other and when one assumes power others want him out. All the while each is shouting their loyalty with Viva Peron! The man who assumes power recruits some help and the characters he enlists are terrific. A local drunk and a not much better crop duster and his bi-plane, "Torito." Some very memorable scenes result from these two characters who are a couple of bumbling misfits. The fighting between the factions is done in drama fashion as is the gruesome torture scene. A warning to those that get queezy, when the interogation scene begins you might want to look away, you get the point without looking anyway. On the flip lighter side which is the more dominant part of the movie, there are some very hilarious scenes that you'll long remember. There is a scene where the often drunk pilot is on a bombing mission and leaves the town in ruins in a most unusual way. Although a black comedy primarily, the drama plays through just fine to give a good balance to the movie. The message is complete, especially if you understand the trouble Argentina has gone through with it's leaders. The movie has a universal appeal, but is especially relevant to Latin American politics. This is a good movie for those that like Spanish language movies or a perspective on Argentina during the second Peron era. Guaranteed to make you laugh unless you're a person who doesn't like black comedies."
A very sad and bitter black comedy
Penumbra | Atlanta, GA USA | 02/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic Argentine movie from 1983. It is both a satire and a farce. It is a combination of bitter, black comedy and drama. The film does an excellent job of making its point. And it's one of the saddest movies I think I've ever seen.
It is 1974, the year of Juan Perón's death. The original title in Spanish is "No Habra Mas Penas Ni Olvido" (There Will Be No More Sorrow Nor Forgetfulness), a line from "Mi Buenos Aires Querido" a classic tango that tells the story of a man who is dreaming of returning to the beloved city of his birth. While waiting in exile in Spain, Perón had courted both left and right wing political factions as part of his plan to someday return to power. Perón's supporters at either extreme of the political spectrum, although at each other's throat, considered themselves the only True Peronists. This is a story of that struggle in miniature, set in Colonia Vela, a tiny fictional town, somewhere near Tandil in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.
It begins with a seemingly simple request. Police Commissioner LLanos informs Don Ignacio Fuentes that Fuentes must ask for the resignation of the clerk in his office. Why? Because the man is a Marxist infiltrator! The clerk in question, Mateo, is a mousy little guy on the high side of middle age who has worked at his job for twenty years. Somehow this otherwise insignificant man is now a threat to the town and must be removed from his post.
Don Ignacio goes home and gets his pistol and rifle to defend Mateo and City Hall. He returns to find the building guarded by two police officers who refuse to let him enter. He talks them out of it by reasoning with them that as the elected administrator he is their higher ranking superior (and slyly giving a promotion and raise to one of the guards). The other guard is somewhat confused about who should be giving director orders to the police, so they make him a prisoner and lock him in the bathroom. The town drunk, who has just let himself out of jail and who has no love for the police, wanders into the City Hall and is enlisted. Now, including Mateo, they are four.
The police mass outside the building, using bullhorns they urge the "Bolsheviks" inside to surrender and face a tribunal - for Perón! The men inside the City Hall insult the "Fascists" outside and swear to defend the City Hall - for Perón!
The townspeople look on in confusion and horror as the war of words escalates. A group of students decide they will align themselves with the City Hall defenders. The police commissioner calls in a group of armed thugs and goons from a neighboring town to assist. In no time bullets are flying, bombs are thrown, bulldozers are engaged to demolish the building, an antique crop duster becomes the town's air force, and people on both sides (and in the middle) are dying - for Perón!
Director, Héctor Olivera, has created a masterpiece in this delicate balancing act. Federico Luppi ("The Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth) is outstanding as Don Ignacio.
It's too bad that a classic film of this importance didn't receive better DVD treatment. The print has dust and artifacts. The soundtrack has high and low points. The only special feature is chapter selection.
In Spanish with non-optional subtitles in English.
Highly recommended to anyone interested in Argentina."
A look back at Argentina's past
O. M. Suarez | Mayagüez, Puerto Rico | 06/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is based on the work by the late Argentine writer Osvaldo Soriano and deserves to be watched carefully. Several absurdities and humorous situations may obscure the dark tone in which the story is told. In order to understand the undertones one should have lived in Argentina during those years pre-military coup. Perhaps, for a newby the book could be a better approach to this already Argentine classic."