Entertainment Weekly - 12/21/2007
"The result is blessed with great performances; director Israel Adrian Caetano lets events speak -- and plead and weep -- for themselves." -- Grade: B+
Set during the late 1970s military coup in Argentina and based on a true story, Adrian Caetano's CHRONICLE OF AN ESCAPE is a disquieting portrait of a young man who is wrongly suspected of being a member of a militant group. Claudio (Rodrigo de la Serna) returns from soccer practice and is arrested by some heavily mustachioed officials who blindfold him and take him to an abandoned house. There Claudio is tortured and endlessly questioned, along with other young men who are also being held. Caetano piles on the agony as the brutal and dehumanizing treatment meted out by the guards descends into outright humiliation and agony for Claudio and the other prisoners. But as the title of the film suggests, the prisoners have an escape plan in mind, and the tension really escalates as they put the daring scheme into practice.
Caetano perfectly captures the feeling of despair that Claudio and the other men must have felt. The director often shoots his principal actors in tight close-up shots, giving a feeling of nauseating claustrophobia and intense helplessness. The finest piece of casting may be in the house itself, which appears to have endless labyrinthine corridors and dank, musty rooms that all look like they've witnessed unthinkable acts of human degradation. CHRONICLE OF AN ESCAPE ends up falling somewhere in between the powerful dynamics of Fernando Meirelles's CITY OF GOD and the somber gloom of Krzysztof Kieslowski's A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING, giving it a broad appeal that should find favor with both the art house crowd and a more mainstream audience.
Description by Genius Productions:
A soccer player is suddenly ripped from the field and finds himself on the floor of a horrific detention center. What follows is a living hell of interrogations and relentless mental and physical abuse. Alongside other young detainees, he battles to survive while awaiting his fate to be decided. With execution looking certain, he and three other prisoners will risk their lives and make a desperate and extraordinarily brave move for freedom.