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FILMS / REVIEWS Argentina / Spain

Review: Moira

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- The open wounds caused by Argentina’s bloody, military dictatorship are at the heart of Daniel Lovecchio’s drama, which unfolds across two eras

Review: Moira
Víctor Vidal and Nerea Lovecchio in Moira

Moira [+see also:
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is a work which was born out of a desire to explore a traumatic event: the filming process was really challenging for me and brought back a lot of memories”, explains Argentine filmmaker and theatre director Daniel Lovecchio, who not only acts in this drama on the psychological consequences of suffering violent acts, but who also called upon his own daughter, Nerea Lovecchio, to help draw up the screenplay and to play the other lead role. As such, the film resembles something along the lines of a deep and heartfelt therapy session, and a revisiting of the painful past.

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The story begins in the present-day, in candlelight, in the happy, Spanish home where celebrations are underway for the 23rd birthday of Lucia, an angelic young woman who will discover that same night that her father, Germán, is hiding a terrible secret. The remainder of the film then repeatedly jumps back and forth between the 21st century and the 1970s, and between Madrid and Buenos Aires, reconstructing those abominable acts which not only caused Germán to go into exile in Spain but which also made him afraid to face up to his own former life.

The transition between the two eras is achieved by way of corresponding changes in scenery and costumes, and a paler, more muted photographic approach, which highlights the tension, fear and oppressive environment that was suffered by the people under the cruel dictatorship of General Videla. Those moments from the past contrast sharply with the present-day life of the protagonist’s daughter, who has a complicated love life; a fact which doesn’t really seem to make sense given that this doomed love affair doesn’t actually seem to interest her. A visit from young Argentine Martín (Víctor Vidal), however, does arouse emotions, and is initially the source of friction in Germán’s household.

A film not only about family, but also made as a family (the score, too, is partly the work of Horacio Lovecchio), Moira ends up falling prey to the same old clichés seen in domestic-focused films: overly straightforward direction, excessive music and a lack of skill in the performances of its non-professional actors, who fail to lend credibility to their actions on film... Because living through a tragedy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll know how to convey it.

Screened at the latest edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival – Seminci, Moira is produced by La Potínguele and Tyl Escénicas Producciones A.I.E., and is distributed by Begin Again Films. The movie is released on Filmin today, Friday 15 May.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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