Director: Adolfo Aristarain

Spain-Argentina| 2004. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 152 min.

Argentine director Adolfo Aristarain turns a compassionate eye towards his own spiritual and political education in the quietly affecting and rewardingly intense Roma. This rites-of-passage tale takes one young man’s life as the focal point for the struggles which tore Argentina apart in the late ’60s and ’70s. Young Madrid journalist Manuel (Juan Diego Botto) is hired to transcribe the memoirs of ageing novelist Joaquin Goñez (Jose Sacristan). The now grizzled writer recalls his upbringing in Buenos Aires, from an idyllic childhood in the ’50s to troubled times in the following decades. In particular, Joaquin recalls the influence of his liberal, free-thinking mother, Roma (a stunning Susu Pecoraro), who dedicated her life to his education following his father’s sudden death. A thoughtful script, strong performances and glowing cinematography all go to make Roma a most pleasurable slice of autobiography.

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