November 1, 2014
Liberated 1980s BA as crime scene in new noir film
The puzzling murder of an upper-class man from Buenos Aires, secretly linked to the gay community in the fully-permissive 80s, is the theme of Natalia Meta’s first film, led by “Chino” Darín and Demian Bichir, which arrived in movie theaters yesterday.
“I can’t explain why, but many years ago when I saw Brokeback Mountain, I left convinced that the story could have happened in Argentina, but in place of cowboys it would have happened between politicians,” Natalia Meta said in reference to the US film about a love story between two cowboys.
Muerte en Buenos Aires (Death in Buenos Aires) takes place in the 80s: having just achieved democracy, the air in the city has a new, liberated flavour and artistic, cultural and sexual expressions begin to flourish in unexpected ways.
The movie begins with a crime: one of the most renowned art collectors in Buenos Aires, is found dead in his luxury apartment. Agent Gómez, a young rookie cop, is assigned to protect the crime scene until the squad team arrives.
It is there that he meets Chávez (Mexican actor Bichir), an long-standing officer who can’t stand small talk, but has an impeccable reputation when it comes to solving crimes, and his attractive partner Dolores (Monica Antonópulos).
Was it a robbery? Was he killed by a hit man? Was it to settle a score? A crime of passion? Hypotheses grow but the evidence is small. It is through the coming and going of these questions and answers that, attracted by Chávez’ experience, the young officer offers to work on the investigation.
When he discovers that the victim is a notable (though undercover) habitant of the gay world of Buenos Aires, the story begins to unfold and the art collector is linked to late night partying, sex for money, drug trafficking and corruption.
And in reference to the cast that give life to the film, the filmmaker emphasized that Buenos Aires of the 80s achieves the status of protagonist: “I agree with the goals of film-noir, a story should have a prevailing city and, to me, Buenos Aires is the most beautiful of them all.”
Herald with Telam