Shot in Buenos Aires, “Model Student” is part of Italian TV La 7’s series on globalization. Throwing the viewer into the midst of demonstrations, angry housewives at markets and even an election campaign where Carlos Menem turns up to back a former military torturer, the film is a bit raw-edged, but gives a feel for the devastating effects of the Argentine economic crisis, especially on the lower classes. It should couple fest rounds with scattered TV sales.
Documaker Stefano Mordini’s analysis is that Argentina, once among the eight richest countries in the world, can blame its economic ills on the policies of the Intl. Monetary Fund, which have created a gigantic national debt. Formerly praised as the IMF’s “model student” for its diligence in privatizing state holdings, Argentina now finds itself on the verge of bankruptcy. Families who had money are jobless and impoverished. Scavengers pour into Buenos Aires nightly to collect paper, which can be sold to recyclers. A young man who wins a job via a TV contest is inexplicably fired on his second day at work. It’s a bleak picture that holds little hope for change.