Marco Bechis returns to Argentina, but this time seen from an 'overseas', but no less worrying perspective. A more ambitious , and maybe less successful, film than his grueling 'Garage Olimpo', "Hijos/Figli" (and the double title is perfect) tackles the deceptions and false hopes which torment and insinuate themselves into the fragile psyche of the offspring of the 'desaparecidos'. In fact we are now observing the NEXT STEP, the legacy of Argentina's "dirty war". As a viewer I was initially irritated by the protagonists' 'emptyness' or 'wooden' acting. On second reflection I became aware that what I had at first criticized as weak casting was, in fact, taking me one step closer to the real plight of the 'hollow' children of these criminal years. We are not getting two charismatic young leads. We're watching spiritual castaways. Eternal adolescents who don't trust or believe in anything (apparently) but who still keep trying to find the truth (she), and shoo away the flies of doubt (He). So, Hijos/Figli may not be a sensational sequel to 'Olimpo', but yes a far more disturbing film. A queasy trip into the horror's aftermath which may be even more anguishing than the first. What's worse... physical torture or spiritual torture? The parents knew the first, now their children live the second...
- May 3, 2005
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