Chronicle of an Escape

on November 29, 2007 by Kevin Courrier

Chronicle of an Escape pretty much lives up to its title and little else. Set during the 1976 coup d'etat in Argentina that led to a military dictatorship that lasted until 1983, the film literally chronicles the escape of four men from a detention house where they had been tortured for more than three months. Rather than offer the broader political context of the kidnappings leading to their harrowing experience, however, director Israel Adrian Caetano reduces everything to the basic physical and psychological abuse the men receive. Employing a pseudo-documentary style, he creates a sense of claustrophobia that mirrors the dread of these victims have of detainment. Although the men are a pretty diverse bunch--from activists to innocents--they don't hold in the memory as individual people. The captors meanwhile resemble the suave goons from Hollywood anti-Nazi movies of the ‘40s, who struck sinister poses with cigarettes. By the time the captives finally decide to bolt, most audience members might have already done likewise.

Distributor: IFC First Take
Cast: Lautaro Delgado, Matias Marmorato and Nazareno Casero
Director: Israel Adrian Caetano
Screenwriters: Israel Adrian Caetano, Esteban Student and Julian Loyola
Producers: Oscar Kramer and Hugo Sigman
Genre: Drama; Spanish-language, subtitled
Rating: R for brutality and torture, nudity and language
Running time: 102 min.
Release date: November 30, 2007 NY

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