War Booty

The "War Booty" in documaker David Blaustein's touching, obsessively repetitive, often fascinating interviews turns out to be the children of Argentina's desaparecidos, the missing persons tortured and killed during the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1982. Today some 64 kids, typically given in adoption to couples who supported the government, have been identified and reunited with their original families, generally their grandmothers. It's a hard-edged, fighting picture, sometimes too detailed for non-Argentine auds, but certain to attract attention in festivals and TV airings.

The “War Booty” in documaker David Blaustein’s touching, obsessively repetitive, often fascinating interviews turns out to be the children of Argentina’s desaparecidos, the missing persons tortured and killed during the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1982. Today some 64 kids, typically given in adoption to couples who supported the government, have been identified and reunited with their original families, generally their grandmothers. It’s a hard-edged, fighting picture, sometimes too detailed for non-Argentine auds, but certain to attract attention in festivals and TV airings.

Scanning a wide variety of cases, film uses the simplest interview techniques to probe the impact on the children, now in their 20s, and on their families upon the discovery of the biological kin. Buenos Aires’ famous Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who demonstrated every Thursday demanding to have news of their missing children, have now turned into grandmothers demanding news of their missing grandchildren. Much of the film is devoted to the courage and heroic stubbornness of these women, each telling her own story.

War Booty

ARGENTINA-SPAIN

Production: A Zafra Cine Difusion (Argentina)/Tornasol Films production, in association with TVE and Arte. Produced by David Blaustein. Directed by David Blaustein. Screenplay, Blaustein, Irene Ickowicz. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Independent Cinema Festival, April 11, 2000. Original title: Botin de guerra. Running time: 118 MIN.

Crew: Camera (color), Marcelo Iaccarino; editor, Juan Carlos Macias; music, Jorge Drexler.

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