Born and Bred
(15) 100 mins
One of the key figures in the New Argentine Cinema, writer-director Pablo Trapero follows up his freewheeling road movie Familia Rodante with this poignant study of a middle-class man consumed by guilt and grief. Following a tragic accident involving himself, his wife Milli (Martina Gusman) and their young daughter, successful Buenos Aires interior designer Santiago (Guillermo Pfening) winds up 2000 kilometres away in freezing Patagonia. Burying himself in a manual job at a decrepit rural airport, he spends his spare time hunting and boozing with his new male colleagues Robert (Federico Esquerro) and Cacique (Tomas Lipan). Santiago however, enduring crippling panic attacks and bouts of nocturnal vomiting, remains haunted by the ghosts of his past.
Born and Bred is purposefully drained of bright colours, the vast snowy landscapes powerfully reflecting Santiago’s feelings of internal desolation. While keeping his camera at a discreet distance, Trapero compassionately observes the plight, not just of his protagonist in this limbo world, but also the troubled existences of the Santiago’s workmates. Impressively acted by a cast which blends professional and non-professional actors, this elliptical and absorbing film hovers intriguingly somewhere between ‘reality’ and dream, right down to its mysterious ending.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 12–Sun 14 Oct.