2 Best Movies to Watch by Agustín Rittano

Staff & contributors

Argentina, 1985 is a legal drama about how a prosecutor and his young team were able to mount evidence—despite all threats and odds—against the officials behind a brutal military dictatorship. The public trial is supposedly the first of its kind in Latin America, a marker of true democracy that made a hero out of Julio Strassera and Moreno Ocampo, who both led the case.

Despite the presence of very serious themes, there are moments of lighthearted humor here that work to stress the film’s underlying message of goodwill and perseverance. Argentina, 1985 competed at major festivals this 2022, and it’s Argentina’s official entry at the 2023 Academy Awards.

Genre: Crime, Drama, History

Actor: Agustín Rittano, Alejandra Flechner, Alejo Garcia Pintos, Antonia Bengoechea, Brian Sichel, Carlos Portaluppi, Claudio Da Passano, Fernando Contigiani García, Francisco Bertín, Gina Mastronicola, Guillermo Jacubowicz, Héctor Díaz, Laura Paredes, Norman Briski, Peter Lanzani, Pietro Gian, Ricardo Darín, Susana Pampín, Toto Rovito, Walter Jakob

Director: Santiago Mitre

Rating: R

Horse riding. Gunslinging. Revenge and protection. These are notable elements in a Western, Spaghetti or otherwise. But rarely do these movies contemplate the indigenous tribes that originally lived in these desert towns, right before they were chased away and killed by white colonizers. Writer-director Felipe Gálvez Haberle takes these elements to showcase a new perspective in The Settlers, with mestizo Chilean sharpshooter Segundo forced to inflict atrocities onto his fellow native Chileans by the orders of a wealthy Spanish landowner, a British officer, and an American mercenary. The landscapes captured are sublime, the portraits are vignetted, but what’s most striking is the way Gálvez mixes in cinematic Western film style with real life colonial history, dramatic conflict with historical detail on a rarely discussed genocide.

Genre: Drama, Western

Actor: Agustín Rittano, Alfredo Castro, Benjamín Westfall, Camilo Arancibia, Heinz K. Krattiger, Luis Machín, Marcelo Alonso, Mariano Llinás, Mark Stanley, Sam Spruell

Director: Felipe Gálvez

Rating: NR