Review: ‘Potestad’

The stresses and strains of recent Argentine history manifest themselves in one man's dreams and fears over the course of a few hours in earnest drama "Potestad." Familiarity with the country and society will help auds immeasurably, suggesting pic's path will move from fest to some big- and small-screen play in Spanish-lingo territories.

The stresses and strains of recent Argentine history manifest themselves in one man’s dreams and fears over the course of a few hours in earnest drama “Potestad.” Familiarity with the country and society will help auds immeasurably, suggesting pic’s path will move from fest to some big- and small-screen play in Spanish-lingo territories.

While riding the subway one Saturday afternoon, Eduardo Martinez (Eduardo “Tato” Pavlovsky, on whose play pic is based) begins to slip in and out of reality as he recalls the loss of his 10-year-old daughter. Pedestrians, waiters and strangers become active participants in his dreams, which intertwine with notable Argentine political, cultural and sports events. “In Argentina we’re right and humane,” someone says, even though it is eventually revealed that his daughter was taken from him by agents of dark forces. Pavlovsky brings an addled dignity to his passionate perf. Tech credits are crisp, befitting for the helmer who cut his teeth editing pics for Fernando Solanas, Eliseo Subiela and Maria Luisa Bemberg. The word “potestad” translates from the Spanish as “authority,” or, as pic’s press kit defines it, “power or dominion attained over other people or things.”

Potestad

Argentina

Production

A Luis Cesar D'Angiolillo production, with the participation of the INCAA. (International sales: D'Angiolillo, Buenos Aires.) Produced, directed by D'Angiolillo. Screenplay, Ariel Sienra, D'Angiolillo, from the play by Eduardo "Tato" Pavlovsky.

Crew

Camera (color), Maria Ines Teyssie; editors, Guillermo Grillo, D'Angiolillo; music, Edgardo Rudnitzky; art director, Julian D'Angiolillo; sound, Guido Beremblum, Gaspar Sheuer, Diego Martinez. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (World Greats), Aug. 29, 2002. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Pavlovsky, Lorenzon Quinteros, Luis Machin, Noemi Frenkel, Alejo Garcia Pintos, Susy Evans, Maria Victoria Biscay.
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