Kidnapping carries entirely different connotations in Argentina than it does in other countries, having been practiced as a matter of institutional control during the regime of Jorge Rafael Videla, whose fall in 1981 officially ended the state-sanctioned “disappearance” of an estimated 30,000 dissidents. Only, the abductions didn’t stop there, as former state intelligence worker Arquimedes Puccio (Guillermo) put his training to work in a new capacity, snatching rich targets off the streets and imprisoning them in his own home until their families coughed up the ransom money – except the victims never managed to make it back alive. For years, the police Commodoro (who had presumably employed Puccio to do the same thing on their behalf mere months before) turned a blind eye. Steely-eyed patriarch Arquimedes presides over a household where his wife, sons, and daughters gather for evening meals and discuss their days. Trapero details the ordinariness of the Puccios’ domestic life while not sparing us the brutality of the kidnappings. ‘The Clan’ is a disturbing, impressive, and beautifully controlled film from a director not afraid to confront the banality of evil.
The Clan was selected to be screened in the main competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival 2015 where director Pablo Trapero won the Silver Lion.
The film contains violent scenes that may disturb some viewers.