The Argentine independent film “Trenque Lauquen,” directed by Laura Citarella, is the best film of 2023 according to Cahiers du Cinéma, a prestigious French publication dedicated to cinema.
This is the first time in 69 years that a Latin American movie has earned first place in the publication’s top-10 list. Founded in 1951 by critic André Bazin, the magazine was a launching pad of sorts for film legends like Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and François Truffaut, who published their texts there before going on to direct movies of their own.
The list of the best films of the year was presented on Friday. The top-5 was topped off by “Close Your Eyes,” by Víctor Erice; “Anatomy of a Fall,” by Justine Triet; “The Fabelmans,” by Steven Spielberg and “Fallen Leaves,” by Aki Kaurismäki.
Produced by El Pampero Cine, Citarella’s film is divided into two 2-and-a-half-hour parts, with an interval. After the strange disappearance of a botanist in a Buenos Aires province town, two colleagues who were romantically involved with her start investigating her whereabouts, only to end up unearthing all kinds of secrets. A Borges-like labyrinth of a movie, this gargantuan four-hour plus film is at once a historical puzzle, a detective story, and a sci-fi film.
The movie stars Laura Paredes, Elisa Carricajo, Verónica Llinás, Ezequiel Pierri, and Rafael Spregelburd, among others. Citarella and Paredes wrote the script together.
“Trenque Lauquen” achieved this recognition after a long journey through numerous film festivals — among them Venice, San Sebastian, New York, Rotterdam, and Mar del Plata .
— with information from Télam