Paulina (Santiago Mitre) Review – Limited Release in New York to June 29th

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By Sandra M. Ríos (@sandritamrios)

“You say I am amazing lawyer and I don’t care to be an amazing lawyer if what I am doing can’t change anyone’s life”.


Since last Friday at Spectacle Theater is exhibiting “Paulina”, the feature film by Argentine director Santiago Mitre in New York.

Paulina is a remake of another Argentine film “La Patota” by Daniel Tynaire released in 60s.

It tells the story of a 28 years old woman who decides to put aside her illustrious career as a lawyer in Buenos Aires to dedicate to social activism in a remote rural region located among Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

But what should be a great experience to help and educate children and teens is transformed in a hard situation when she is raped  a few days after the arrival in that town. The decision she makes staggers her family and close friends, especially when she tells she is pregnant and doesn’t want to report to the police.While his father, a judge, is looking for perpetrators, she only wants to look at truth.

It is so interesting how this drama looks into justice in a different way; to see, through victim, who are the aggressors, what is the context of that attack and confront it in order to make justice in another way. Because Paulina is a woman who knows very well the laws, but this movie talks about another sense of justice. Santiago Mitre shows justice as social phenomenon and how is the behaviour of individuals , not only for the victim but also the people around it, when these face unexpected event like a serious felony.

Paulina suffers a big drama but she decides to face it with courage, to take a risky  and controversial position. Her decision is to impart justice from the greater human side. It is a great and complex character who understands that she has the power to stop a chain of violence and to prevent the repetition of such situation if she is able to understand the conditions of her aggressors. This is not a film where the tears and pain  are the order of the day, this is a film about a brave and pragmatic woman. Doloris Fonzi plays Paulina with greatness, in fact, she won three awards, among them Best Actress at Platino Awards (one of the most important Ibero-America’s Annual Film Awards).

Paulina belongs to those films of social realism, a political one too, very well-directed and co-written by Santiago Mitre.

The feature film was premiered at Cannes Film Fest in its section “La Semaine de la critique” where it won the main award besides the FIPRESCI prize. At San Sebastian International Film Festival it got other three awards (Horizontes latinos, Another Look and Youth Award).

Cast & Crew

  • Director: Santiago Mitre
  • Screenplay: Santiago Mitre, Mariano Llinás, Eduardo Borras
  • Genre: Drama
  • Running Time: 103 minutes
  • Cast: Dolores Fonzi, Oscar Martínez, Esteban Lamothe, Gabriela Pastor, Andrea Quatrocchi, Laura López Moyano
  • Edition: Leandro Aste, Delfina Castagnino, Joana Collie
  • Cinematography: Gustavo Biazzi
  • Music: Nicolás varchausky
  • Art: Sabrina Campos
  • Country: Argentina
  • Year: 2015

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