What is the Oscar-Nominated Film ‘Argentina, 1985’ About?

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video
Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video
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The film industry in Argentina had a lot to celebrate Tuesday morning (January 24) when nominations for the 95th Annual Academy Awards were announced.

Argentina’s official submission to the Oscars, the historical drama Argentina, 1985, was chosen as one of the five nominees for Best International Film. The four other nominees are: All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany); Close (Belgium); EO (Poland); and The Quiet Girl (Ireland).

“I believe one thing that favors the film is that degree of emotional connection,” producer Axel Kuschevatzky told the Buenos Aires Herald. “I’m not saying the other ones don’t have that, but this one clearly does.”

Argentina, 1985 tells the story behind the efforts of real-life prosecutors Julio César Strassera (Ricardo Darín) and Luis Moreno Ocampo (Peter Lanzani), who attempt to hold the leaders of the country’s dictatorship accountable for the heinous crimes they committed during the military dictatorship of 1976-1983. The court case is known as the Trial of the Juntas. 

According to the International Crimes Database, this trial is the first in South America where former dictators were brought before judges for their crimes. Because of the large number of victims, the Court selected 280 cases out of 709. And Strassera’s closing argument of “¡Nunca más!” became a mantra and warning to never again allow “such campaigns of widespread and systematic human rights violations take place.”

The film inspired by these real-life events is directed and co-written by Santiago Mitre and co-written by Mariano Llinás.

In the history of the Academy Awards, Argentina has been nominated for Best International Feature eight times since it began submitting films for consideration in 1961. This is the second most of any Latin American country (Mexico has received nine nominations). The last time Argentina was nominated for an Oscar was in 2014 for the dark comedy Wild Tales.

Of the eight films that landed nominations, two won the Oscar – the 1985 historical drama The Official Story and the 2009 crime drama The Secret in Their Eyes. Two wins are the most of any Latin American country in the history of the Oscars (Mexico has won once).

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will air live on ABC on March 12, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET.