The film tackles a theme rarely used by the cinema: the relationship of private banks with the military, businessmen, diplomats and officials of the last Argentine civil-military dictatorship. And he does it as a kind of thriller and noir (although it exceeds them) that portrays the elegant and above all discreet descent into hell of a Swiss banker who must frequent these estates in the early 1980s in Argentina. And the result is downright disturbing.
Ivan de Wiel, a private banker from Geneva (Fabrizio Rongione), arrives in Buenos Aires in the early 1980s with his wife Inés (Stéphanie Cléau) because they have lost contact with the partner in charge of the previous region, Kies, about whom they circulate various rumors. His role is to reconnect with the client portfolio and discreetly find out what happened to Kies to clear those rumors.
And what customers! De Wiel will undertake a tour that will include various members, houses and circles of the Buenos Aires upper class (with soldiers, prelates, landowners with stud farms, their wives and lawyers and some upstart), diplomatic personnel and some officials, in a kind of thriller and detective noir (although the film exceeds them), in the context of the military dictatorship.
The banker is faced with a framework in which at first it is difficult for him to position himself. He will act as an explorer in an elegant jungle where he must meet some sinister characters and a plot of things not said or half said, going down a descent into hell with "discretion as strategy" (in the words of its director), where the main objective will be to recover or preserve clients and businesses and where the title of the film, an expression of a Swiss dialect, will end up acquiring its full meaning.
The young Swiss director Andreas Fontana (who later trained in Buenos Aires) performs in his debut film a great reconstruction of the period (in every sense) in terms of the places that the protagonist must frequent, beginning with that Swiss marriage whom he hosts in the Plaza Hotel (and of course, not the Sheraton, a new rich Americans hotel) and tackles a topic rarely seen in the cinema: the relationship between private banks and the military, businessmen and officials of the last Argentine civic-military dictatorship. The film paints at the same time a portrait of this upper class in love with his possessions and proud of his silly Francophilia. At the same time, he makes powerful use of what is not shown, of "blind spots", of the off-field, resources that are very significant in times and contexts such as those he portrays.
And the result is downright disturbing.