Thursday, September 2, 2004


Movie: The Blonds

Posted on Thu, Sep 2, 2004 at 4:00 AM

Our Rating: 3.50

Easily the most formally sophisticated feature to have played the D.MAC facility, The Blonds plays head games with the conventions of political memoir. Argentinean filmmaker Albertina Carri sets out to learn the truth about her parents, intellectual activists who were dragged from their homes, incarcerated and eventually murdered by the military in the incendiary but hazily remembered days of 1977. Making the rounds of old neighborhoods, Carri quizzes friends, family members and her parents' former collaborators in the underground about the facts behind their lives and deaths. Who were they, really? And just what happened to them?

The rub is that it's not really Carri doing the interviewing, but actress Analía Couceyro, who announces early on that she will be "playing" Carri in the film. When aged neighbors re-bond with the "grown-up" Carri, it's really the stranger Couceyro they're responding to. The real Carri is seen occasionally, in deconstructive sequences – shot mostly in black and white – that offer glimpses of the methodology behind the subterfuge.

Why this peculiar tack has been taken, we're never told outright; perhaps Carri wishes to distance herself from the exploitative aspect of autobiography. But the end result (which betrays a partial debt to the "docu-fictional" approach of Alexander Kluge) is to make us question everything in the movie. The memories of those interviewed by Carri/Couceyro are plainly faulty: They contradict each other on key points, from the activities of the Carris to the color of their hair. Yet with Carri parading Couceyro before the world as her proxy, who knows how many of her own basic claims we can trust?

Adding a further layer of distance, Carri includes some stop-motion-animation sequences peopled by happy-looking Playmobil figurines. (The nod to early Todd Haynes is no accident; like Haynes, Carri has in the past chronicled the on-camera doings of Barbie and Ken dolls.) This director appears deeply suspicious of straight-ahead representation: There's a brief discussion of the possible similarities between the film camera and the torture implements that were allegedly used on her parents. But what The Blonds is "about," mostly, is the inadequacy of memory. The harder she works to unlock the mystery of her parents' past, the more Carri learns that no view she assembles will ever be correct. In matching style to subject matter, she has made her entire film a monument to unknowability. Prepare yourself for any reaction but satisfaction.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation