THE CLAN – A Review by John Strange

By: John ‘Doc’ Strange
This film is based on the Puccio family in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Arquimedes Puccio (Guillermo Francella), patriarch of the family, was a member of the state intelligence until the end of the Falkland’s War.  With no source of income to support his family, the man decided to move his skills to kidnapping.  In the next few years he kidnaps four people, killing three of them.
Puccio uses all of the tools at his command including his boys.  Each kidnapping is planned meticulously.  The only fault in the plans I saw was that he brought all of the victims to the basement of his home.  They were treated horribly.  No proof of life was ever offered in any of the abductions.
The first victim was a young man who was an acquaintance of Puccio’s son, Alejandro (Peter Lanzani).  Alejandro is the eldest son and a star rugby player who eventually played on the Argentina National Rugby Union team.  The young man joined in the kidnappings, using his fame and popularity to search out potential victims amongst his fans.
The kidnappings take a heavy toll on the family; one of the sons runs away.  The girls don’t know for sure what is going on but as they are not deaf, the screams and wails of the victims haunt their lives.
Puccio and his assistants look like they are going to be able to continue to kidnap people for a long time.  Sadly for them, the changing political climate in Argentina is changing as a democratic government continues to get a stronger hold on the country.  Puccio’s allies in the government warn him about the changes but he thinks he can worm his way out of any problems that come his way.
One of his friends is arrested for doing the same thing he is.  His political and law enforcement allies tell him there is nothing they can do for a while.  The man will be going to jail for a while.  They swear that they will try to get him out later when all of the trouble blows over.
This is a dark nasty story that, while true to the facts, is a tough watch.  These people are in no way nice folks.  They don’t flinch from beating their victims and shooting them once the ransom is paid.  When the hammer of the law finally drops on them we are not at all upset about it.
If you like movies made from true stories that make you want to wash your hands (and your eyes) then this one is for you.  I hope the copy the distributor sent to the theaters is better than the one provided to me.  The captions on my copy were not always legible/readable. 
This is a film that you have to pay a lot of attention to.  You will spend a lot of that attention reading the captions.  The rest of your attention will be keeping up with the plotline.
Directed by: Pablo Trapero
Cast: Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Lili Popovich
MPAA Rating: R (for violence, language and a scene of sexuality/nudity)
Selig Rating: Dollar
Runtime: 110 Min.
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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