The Secret In Their Eyes

drakeygirl's picture
Juan José Campanella
This Argentinian film, winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2010, is a dark, violent, elegiac, tangled tale of love and loss - and it's engrossing and affecting. The story concerns Benjamín Espósito, a retired federal agent obessessed by the rape and murder of a young woman 25 years earlier. He is writing a novel about the case, and meets up with his former boss Irene Menéndez-Hastings (now a judge), stirring up emotions boxed away by time. A breathtakingly-brilliant chase scene set in a football stadium enthrals, but the quiet, silent glances and 'secrets' in people's eyes referred to in the title are just as powerful. Just as an aside, it also has some flashes of humour. Seemingly unimportant incidental scenes and odd moments of dry humour speak volumes about the relationships between the characters and provide the human connection that elevates this from clever crime thriller to a moving piece of cinema. The film is currently available online via BBC iPlayer.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed: 
The Killing, The Lives Of Others


Incredible story that stays with you long (and I mean long) after you have seen it. The pervading feeling of an all-powerful state apparatus runs throughout the movie, even though it is not part of the main narrative or plot. You could characterise the individual as powerless in some respects, but also able to take action that is violent and far-reaching. Also a study of obsession.

If you like Spanish fiction, this atmosphere also underpins the wonderful Carlos Ruiz Zafon novel - "The Shadow of the Wind" - set in Barcelona under Francoist rule, based in a world of books, obsessive love and violence. Set between 1945 and 1955, the effects of the Spanish Civil War still haunt the characters.

A wonderfully atmospheric, allegoric tale. I keep spotting mysterious strangers on street corners and catching the aroma of burnt paper, now...

Glad you enjoyed it. Must get the other parts of the trilogy.

humourous, tense and chilling. The end "revelation" was a bit obvious to us, but this in no way detracted from a great film. The time flew by, and it is not a short film.

An absolutely great film. Highly recommended.

Have it on DVD and have watched it more than once, all the above are right, it is good, very good.

did you get my DM reply? (just checking the function works for me, clique conspiracy theorists)

I thought I'd already replied - but have just seen my message sitting in my draft folder, as I don't seem to have pressed 'send'. Doh!
The lengths we go to to avoid ruining a great film by revealing spoilers, hey?

Of the last few years. Also excellent and with Ricardo Darin as well is Nine Queens, about con men in Buenos Aires.

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