The Official Story is a thought-provoking, indirect yet resolute approach to the greatest Argentine tragedy of the century: the degeneration into secret genocide of the so-called ‘dirty war’ against terrorism in the mid-and late-’70s.
The story takes place during 1983 in Buenos Aires. It evolves around Alicia (Norma Aleandro) and Roberto (Hector Alterio), a married couple with an adopted child, Gabi (Analia Castro). Aleandro teaches history at a private school adhering to the official textbooks, but eventually she is impressed by the investigative, revisionist spirit of some of her pupils.
Significant details lead Alicia to suspect Gabi could be the offspring of a desaparecida woman. She decides to investigate, not only finding out who the parents were and who is the grandmother of her adopted daughter, but also realizing her husband is linked with both the paramilitary and the local and foreign businessmen profiting from the corruption in power circles.
Outstanding performances by Aleandro, Alterio and Chela Ruiz as the grandmother greatly help to inject Story with credibility, human warmth and pathos without losing intellectual stature and political meaning in its almost wordless yet uncompromising stance for human rights. Moppet actress Castro is a real find.
Luis Puenzo, an ace in the blurbs field, turns out a topical film of sustained tension.
1985: Best Foreign Language Film