2021 [FRENCH]


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 57%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 405

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Pairic 9 / 10

Dark Political Thriller

Azor: Argentina, 1980, the height of Junta's dirty war, Yvan (Fabrizio Rongione) is a private banker from Geneva who travels to the country after his banks representative there, Rene, has disappeared. He makes a journey into the heart of the darkness as he meets with his banks clients or perhaps it's a descent into the circles of Hell as his driver's name is Dante. We witness corruption but also fear on the part of Yvan's upper class clients, the kleptocratic wing of the Junta is even seizing property belonging to the super rich, they are anxious to send money abroad. Even a big rancher cannot save his daughter who had leftist sympathies. The sense of evil is palpable and the tension builds as Yvan follows Rene's trail. A taut political thriller. Directed by Andreas Fontana from a screenplay by Albert Dupontel and Mariano Llinás. 9/10.

Reviewed by danybur 8 / 10

An elegant, discreet and disturbing descent into hell


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.

Reviewed by carlos-pires 8 / 10

Very engaging and unique

Very engaging slow-burner that somehow never bursts into flame. The only flaw I find in this movie, is that the ending seems not to have been given too much thought.

But it presents a very unique quality: a perfect depiction of tension. There is tension everywhere, in every scene, in every character, throughout the whole movie. The masterfully crafted soundtrack does a major contribution there. This is a movie where there is no display of action. Every thing is as silent as the atrocities that we know for a fact were being committed while we watch these low voice conversations between wealthy people, bankers, clergy, all the way to the final "deal with the devil" moment.

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