(out of 5)

lives in an unnamed South American country where her husband has just been taken by military forces for unknown reasons. Within days, her conservative father-in-law () flies in from the U.S. and joins her in scouring the entire country in search of his son. This fact-based, terrifying thriller succeeds thanks to Costa-Gavras’s uncompromising direction and top-notch performances by the two leads. A strong sense of foreigners in a foreign land makes for an even stronger sense of isolation and dread, but what really makes it perfection is its dead-on combination of the personal and political: Spacek and Lemmon argue politics as much as they bicker about their personal feelings (Lemmon always objected to their liberal ways), and one never overpowers the other. This is an unforgettable motion picture, the best of its year and one of the best of the decade.


USA, 1982

Directed by

Screenplay by Costa-Gavras, , based on the book by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Cannes 1982

Academy Awards:  1982

Cannes Film Festival Awards:  1982

Golden Globe Awards:  1982


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