The Dirty War is the name given to the state-sponsored violence against citizens mostly carried out between 1976 and 1983 by Jorge Rafael Videla's military government in Argentina during what was called by the dictatorship the "National Reorganization Process" or what the modern world calls "genocide".
The film follows Claudio Tamburrini, a goal keeper for a minor league football team, who was forcefully kidnapped by members of the Argentine secret military police.
He is taken to a detention center known as Sere Mansion which is an old dilapidated house in a suburban neighbourhood on the suspicion he's an anti-government terrorist.
Tamburrini is not alone and his fellow abductees are frequently tortured by the jailers for information he doesn't have because he was never a political activist.
After four months of imprisonment, and many sessions of torture, Tamburrini and his fellow captives make a break for freedom.
It is a gripping film throughout with bleak filming adding depth to the situation making it a taut psychological thriller especially because you are aware that this actually happened. The camera work and acting immerse the viewer into the mundane but arduous life that these innocent prisoners lead right through to the climatic finale.
According to the Nunca Más report issued by the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) in 1984, about 9,000 people were "disappeared" between 1976 and 1983. Estimates by human rights organisations place the number at closer to 30,000.
Cronica de una Fuga is a deeply moving and involving film worth a trip to the cinema for an education on both how to shoot this kind of film and a brief education about the not-so-distant Dirty War of Argentina. Rodrigo De la Serna as usual is raw brilliance, throughout. And the last time I watched him act was in Diarios de Motocicleta, another astounding work in which he looks double his weight of what he looks like in Cronica.. I'm surprised at why this movie is not getting the publicity it deserves. I had the feeling that this was going to be a big bloodbath, but na.. Its sheer adrenaline stuff, guaranteed to keep you thinking of it for a long time to come. In fact, halfway through the movie, you actually accept the nudity in the movie and focus on something far far important, the escape!