This Thursday it opens nationally An Argentine crimea film directed by Lucas Combina from Córdoba and whose script was created by Juan Pablo Buscaini from Rosario, based on the book of the same name by Reynaldo Sietecase. The story recounts the disappearance of Jorge Sauan, a member of the textile community in an event that marked police history in Rosario and showed how much reality can surpass fiction. The citizen attended the avant premiere of the film and spoke with the screenwriter, the director, as well as Nicolás Francella and Matías Mayer, its protagonists.
Although the text published by Sietecase in 2002 analyzes the psychological profile of the main and only defendant in the case, the film shows the sociopolitical reality of 1980, in the midst of a military dictatorship. And as Buscaini said in the middle of the chat with this medium: “It was not the perfect crime due to the inefficiency of the forces. It’s a story that could never have been filmed anywhere else.”
It is that Buscaini, who was part of production companies like PatagoniK from which tanks like Nine Queens Y The son of the brideHe spoke with Sietecase in 2006 to make the film and the opportunities were slow in coming, until he met Lucas Combina and the plot began to take its course. “When I read the script I was very impacted by that story, unknown to me. That day I ran to get Reynaldo’s book and over the days I prepared my three-month stay in Rosario to be able to immerse myself in history. That it is a real event is quite a bonus track, ”said Combina.
Disappearances, torture, orders “from above”, lonely streets invaded by fear, everything was common currency in one of the bloodiest stages of Argentine history. In the midst of all this, a lawyer who had been imprisoned for selling non-existent land was preparing to invest in a soccer ball business (or at least that was known) and chased Sauan to add or steal money, earning his friendship in in the middle of the nights of brothels well watered with whiskey.
“When all this happened, I was finishing high school and there was a lot of talk about the case. What’s more, I was already dating and every now and then I saw Sauán in a bowling alley, he was a well-known guy, a farandulesco character, “Recalled Buscaini. But his memories at the Sagrado Corazón school, where Sauan and his brothers also went, remained in some photo album to later relive on an afternoon in 2006 where the idea of a script began to take shape: “I didn’t know Sietecase very well, we had a mutual friend who brought him home to watch a classic, even though I’m from Newell’s and he’s from Central. At one point he gives me the book and begins to tell me the story. I asked for more information because the title didn’t tell me anything, and the story surprised me. Even when we presented it to theater owners, they loved it, because he’s not just another policeman, with flying cars, exploding cars, with gunshots and girls. Here is a thriller that shows you a social context, the mud rather, that catches you until the last minute and on top of all this it is a true story”.
Seeing a Rosario from the 1980s on the big screen is a journey through time, both in the area of the National Monument to the Flag and the Municipality (in white thanks to the work of the digital art team), the Provincial Courts, the racecourse , and even an aerial view of an illuminated Rosario facing the river (without the Dolphin Towers, another achievement of digital art) reveals the original beauty of the city that grew by leaps and bounds and that today is, unfortunately, a star in the media for his police deeds. This time the opportunity to make the city known with this film is welcome, since from this Thursday it can be seen in all theaters in the country and between October and November it will be part of the HBO Max streaming catalog for the entire world. world.
Mayer and Francella lead the investigation, they are the young secretaries of Judge José Eldo Juárez, who led the case, personified by Luis Luque. One of them watching his back to protect his family, the other counting down the days to emigrate to Spain and get away from the bloody situation in Argentina. Darío Grandinetti put the body and mind of the only accused of the fact and Alberto Ajaka summarizes in a single person the atrocity of the military dictatorship. The cast is completed with Malena Sánchez, César Bordón and Rita Cortese. Various actors from Rosario even participated, such as Lala Brillos, Juan Nemirovsky, Luis Rubio, Roberto Moyano and even a rejuvenated Héctor Nene Molina, among others.
Rosario, a whole set
Among the spaces chosen as locations for the film, Combina remarked that although a lot of work was done from the digital art of the film, “Rosario has the advantage that there are many facades and interiors preserved as heritage and that was a good canvas to draw the film” . At the same time, he added that in the San Luis gallery between Spain and Presidente Roca, where one of the first scenes of the investigation of the incident takes place, “not much work should have been done to change its appearance, it is a trip to the 80s in the middle of the downtown,” he said with a laugh.
“During the filming we recreated scenarios that we needed to be from those times, always also with great respect for Rosario who know the city by heart. We rely a lot on that. In being able to recreate situations, in real locations that are related to history, such as the Laurak bar (from Santa Fe to 1300), which is impeccable, as if time had not even passed, ”he added.
On the other hand, amid laughter, Mayer and Francella joined the 80s on and off the set. “There were six very intense weeks of filming, from the makeup, the costumes, the way of working, all set in a time that we did not know. But at the end of the day we didn’t go home, with our loved ones, and you go out and disconnect. Here it was particular because we arrived at a hotel that had also stayed at that time. It was all very crazy because it was to stay in the same energy and that helped us get fully involved in the project”, recalled Francella.
They also recalled that of those six weeks, the first days had the occasional curious person who came to the set to see the artists in action, while in the second stage it was like a “live theater”, while in the last instance, when it was known what the plot of the film was about, “many people approached with some information, a memory of Sauan, some details that they commented on to the director and that gave him more local hook than the story has or had. It was very interesting,” Mayer said.
Combina assured that he always said that he worked with a “power trio” in reference to Grandinetti, Mayer and Francella. It is that from the first moment she was seduced by the idea of working with two different generations and knowing that the protagonists are the same age as their characters: 31 years old. “They are two millennials, they were born in another era, and they are very committed to their work. With Grandinetti, whom it was an honor to direct (hand on his chest), obviously I didn’t have to ask him for anything because he lived through the dictatorship firsthand. On the other hand, I asked Mati and Nico to watch all the documentaries about the time on the Encuentro channel, especially to learn about and soak up the way of thinking, the police actions, how they handled themselves then beyond the knowledge that each one has. of Argentine history. And he added: “Luckily the country has matured and today we can tell these kinds of stories. So we take it with all the respect in the world.”
Meanwhile, the evolution, as the actors agreed, came to the cinema hand in hand with the modality that is known along with streaming, to which Francella pointed out: “We are in an «in crescendo» which is all this transition that the cinema with a theatrical release and that after 45 days is on a platform. That is incredible, and it is being seen with Adrián’s film (Suar, 30 nights with my ex) that people return to the cinema, support national productions and other opportunities open up, I think this progress is great”.