Lion’s Den (2008)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Leonera

Argentina/South Korea/Brazil, 2008.  Matanza Cine, Patagonik Film Group, Cineclick Asia, Ibermedia, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, VideoFilmes.  Screenplay by , , , Pablo Trapero.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Pablo Trapero.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

A pregnant woman is found near the dead body of her lover and is accused of his murder, sent away to prison where she gives birth and must raise her son behind bars for a number of years. According to the law she can keep her child with her until he is four, after which point he must be given to a relative or put into the state welfare system, but will she be able to let him go when the time comes? She builds up a reputation and becomes part of the community of women with whom she lives in jail, but her child seems to be the one part of her life that gives her genuine hope. This fascinating drama plays as a good counterpart to Carandiru, a hard-hitting look at life in the big house that goes so far for verisimilitude as to film in real prisons and use actual prisoners on screen. The result is incredibly believable and effective, with lead actress blending in beautifully while Pablo Trapero’s direction is incredible.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

Toronto International Film Festival:  2008

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