Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Boss, Anatomy of a Crime

This film got my attention by accident.  Bored with offered selections, went through a long list of Netflix suggestions before I found "The Boss, Anatomy of a Crime" ( El Patron, radiografis de un crimen 2014).  It had a good rating, but the descriptions made it seem "different" and unique.  It was about a killing which is common enough, but there was none of the usual mystery.  The story was about an exploited man who responded to abuse.  My film selections are intended to give more attention to those that might be overlooked in the over hyped entertainment marketing.  With subtitles is in English and set in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 We are first introduced to a lawyer after a murder case trying to find some mitigating circumstances for a client who not only admits his guilt, but that he was enraged at the time.  The story then flashes back to how Hermogenes gets hired by Latuada, the owner of 8 butcher shops who treats an existing butcher with physical brutality.  Hermogenes seem a little stunned, but accepting and assuring he can do a good job.  The owner suggests Hermogenes move to the back room of the shop to be closer to the job.  

We flip between before a killing and to the court case.  There are several flips, but with little effort they make it easier to understand the story. 

Wife of lawyer, Clara seemingly annoyed by her husband's interest in what seems like a hopeless case eventually gets involved and she becomes very supportive of Hermognese and his wife.

Hermonogenes feels guilty and fatalistic.  When asked about his boss, he says he was not nice, but "God didn't make him nice."

Near the end we see the actual killing and it is brutal.  It seems like very little provocation, but we would be anticipating some very strong and personal criticism after a customer had returned some bad meat.  Afterwards we gain the lawyer perspective that said there had been a long buildup (much of which we did see).  Because of the job, Hermonogenes happened to have a knife in his hands when reached a boiling point.

The police and the prosecutors laughed at what an open and shut case this was because of the very candid confession.  They termed it aggravated murder and called for a life sentence.  The lawyer made a stirring speech to the effect of the pressures put on Hermonogenese including some criticism of the gov and the final sentence was for homicide under the heat of passion.

Based on true events. 

It is set in a butcher shop and some of it may be upsetting as not only do they show cutting meat, they also show how they spray stuff to hide rotted meat and how to cover it up with color agents.  Ironically Argentina is known world wide for their quality beef.

Sebastian Schindel was director, editor and co-writer.  He read the book and was shaken by the description of exploitation and slavery.  He met with viewers who told him similar stories of exploitation.  When asked to help with groups to work against what was called "cultural slavery" he agreed.  Sebastian started his film career in 2000 and has been a writer, a director, editor and producer.

Nicolas Batlle writer and producer has been involved with "The German" (2013).  He has not only written and produced scripts, but also been a director.

Javier Olivera, co-writer got started as a painter and later attended film studies at UCLA.  He had directed a series of films for UNICEF.  He teaches screenwriting and directing at Uruguay Film Campus.

Guillermo Pfening played the concerned defense lawyer,   Guillermo had played in "The German" (2013)

Andrea Garrote, Nora,  was in Oscar nominated "Wild Tales" (Relatos Salvajes 2014) in same segment as Ricardo Darin, one of my favorite actors

Joaquin Furiel played Hermonogene sas a mild mannered exploited butcher.   He was the lead in most popular film blog ever "The Lighhouse of the Whales" (El Faro de las Orcas 2016).  He started acting lessons at age 12.  Received best actor awards for this one.  Check

German de Silva played a friendly butcher who gave useful advice (including how to cover up bad meat).  Appeared in won a best supporting actor ward "Wild Tales" (2014) and "The Two Popes" (2019)

Luis Ziembrowski, played the boss (deliberately not labeled employer).  It required a gruff, hard nosed and crooked acting.  In another role, "Lili's Apron" (2004) he had played a Mrs. Doubtfire sort of role.

Victoria Raposo played Clara, the wife to lawyer and key to lifting accused out of a suicidal guilt feeling swinging from an annoying wife upset at her husband' obsession.  Acting since 2010, she once was a casting director for a tv. series.

Monica Lairana, wife to butcher  Gladys--an early extra role for her was with "Evita" (1996),  Won a best supporting actress award for her role in this film.

Inspired by this film I watched on Netflix another gem from Sebastian Schindel, "Crimes that Bind" (2020) which I recommend.  

The movies that have been bolded are ones that I have watched.

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