Latin America has never been the most stable region in terms of politics or government. When not acting as a microcosm of the Cold War, the continent’s recent history has been marred by Military Juntas and brutal dictatorships. Argentina in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s is a case in point. A coup d’état in 1976 led to the ‘Process of National Reorganization’, during which an estimated 30,000 Argentinians were ‘disappeared’. It serves as a backdrop for Benjamín Naishtat’s new film, Rojo.

Claudio (Darío Grandinetti) is a well-respected and wealthy lawyer leading a comfortable and uneventful life in a quiet rural town. One night in a restaurant he has an argument with a mysterious stranger which has deadly consequences. Claudio tries to put the incident out of his mind but the change of regime, sale of an abandoned house and the arrival of a Chilean private detective (Alfredo Castro) brings it all flooding back.

Rojo is a Kafkaesque drama in which Claudio finds himself digging an increasingly deeper hole for himself regardless of how hard he tries to escape. As the dictatorship’s gains a stronger grip on the country, he finds himself penned in to a corner. One bad decision looks set to haunt him forever. Grandinetti is superb as the embattled local figure. His performance is the lifeblood of Rojo. A nuanced and sharply observed political and social commentary.

Rojo is out in cinemas from 6 September.


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