The Official Story

Starring: Norma Aleandro and Hector Alterio
Arrow Films Ltd & Fremantle Home Entertainment
RRP: 15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 11 April 2005

In the mid-70s Argentina's military dictatorship carried out a brutal campaign of torture and murder against thousands of its own citizens. Alicia, the sheltered wife of a wealthy businessman, begins to unravel the horrifying legacy of her country's past. She looks into the background of her own daughter, adopted at birth, and discovers that she may have been stolen from a family of los desaparecidos (the disappeared ones). She has to decide whether to keep digging to see if this is the case, or continue to live in ignorance in order to avoid the risk of tearing apart her own life and family...

The Official Story is both an incredibly moving and shocking film. Alicia is a history teacher - one who, until recently, has believed the historical events written down in the history books as an accurate retelling of history. It is only when an old friend of hers reappears on the scene and recounts a tale of how she was tortured and raped by the authorities, that Alicia starts to wonder whether her daughter was stolen at birth.

As Alicia trawls through the archives looking for any proof of who her daughter's parent's were she starts to wonder whether her husband has always been aware of the fact that their daughter may not have been given up so freely by her real parents.

This movie asks the viewer to question the official line. Why is it that atrocities are covered up? This is not unlike our own history of the Second World War - atrocities were carried out on both sides, yet it is only the horrors that the Germans undertook which are recounted in the history books.

A powerful piece of cinema which, while a little dated, is still worth watching.

Nick Smithson.

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