Cinema and television have had a long love affair with gangsters. From the days of James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart, through the Godfather movies to Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and Gomorrah, audiences simply can’t get enough. It’s not only the Mafia who make crime a family affair. Pablo Trapero’s new film, The Clan, focusses on an Argentinian family who discover a way to prosper when the ruling dictatorship collapses in the early 1980s.
Now unemployed but still living in a wealthy suburb of Buenos Aires, former intelligence agent Arquímedes Puccio (Guillermo Francella) looks for ways to subsidise their earnings from the family Deli. One of five children, his son Alejandro (Peter Lanzani) plays for the national rugby team, The Pumas. Arquímedes uses the popularity of his son in order to target potential victims, kipnapping them for the ransom.
Based on the true story of the Puccio family, The Clan is an impressive crime drama. Chosen as Argentina’s entry for the 88th Academy Awards, Trapero focusses on the dramatic elements. The family dynamic, particularly the relationship between Arquimendes and Alejandro, is fascinating. The quality of acting, across the board, is fantastic and it’s shot in a way which really places you within the era.
The Clan is out in cinemas on Friday.