The Clan (Pablo Trapero, 2015): Argentina|Spain

Reviewed by Rowen Fields. Viewed at AFT Film Festival 2015.

“The Clan” Directed by Pablo Trapper, is a film based of an incredibly unbelievable story from Argentina in the 1980s. This tale of family destruction, patriarchal control, and family obligation is heartbreaking while also being cinematically captivating.

The film, about a father who, after the war of the Malvinas in mid-1982, becomes unemployed from the inelegance comity and wants to belong to the upper class, starts kidnapping and killing acquaintances of the family, while demanding ransom from the victims family. He forces his sons to participate in these actions, who are resistant and unwilling but feel they are unable to disobey their father.

The way emotions were expressed through the use of light, angle, and framing was what allowed this film to shine. These elements expressed the tension though the family dynamic, the fear of the sons, and the inability to become independent from their father. This move used high key and low key lighting in the most intensively persuasive way, using the lighting to keep the audience in the sense of confusion and emotional stress that was reasonable for the film. This film, with its shocking ending, and beautifully horrifying reality is something anyone with a love for a mob film or exquisite expression of family dynamics, should see at least once.

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