Esperando al mesías (Waiting for the Messiah ) (2000) 




Director:     Daniel Burman. 

Starring:     Daniel Hendler (Ariel Goldstein), Enrique PiZeyro (Santamaría), Héctor Alterio (Simón), Melina Petriella (Estela), Stefania Sandrelli (Elsa), Chiara Caselli (Laura), Gabriela Acher (Sara), Imanol Arias (Baltasar), Dolores Fonzi (Any), Edda Bustamante (Mujer trampa), Tajma Minoru (Asian), Juan José Flores Quispe (Ramón), Eduardo Wigutow (Moshé Levin), Beatriz Thibaudin (Anciana), Sandra Sandrelli (Santa).

Argentine middle-class hurt by the economic crisis as seen in the lives of average Argentines, including a Jewish family



Good film.  The economic crisis of Argentina is not directly confronted.  Rather it is illustrated in its impact on a group of people in the middle-class.  The crisis definitely hurts the people, but the emphasis is on the resilient spirit of those affected who still can look successfully for love amidst hard economic times.  A bank employee is fired after the oncoming of the crisis and then his wife throws him out of their apartment.  The fellow is homeless.  This is discouraging, but even so he meets a worker in the lady's room where he washes both his clothes and himself and they form a promising relationship.  A Jewish family has their savings completely wiped out and then the mother of Ariel dies.  But Ariel and Simon, his father, continue their lives.  Simon makes new and improved changes in his restaurant/club that helps him through the crisis, while Ariel finds new love adventures when he gets a job (on trial for periods of 6 months each) in a television production company.  (I only wish there could have been a few current events headlines used in the film to tie the crisis to the larger political goings-on in Argentina.) 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


Historical Background:


Argentina's military dictatorships created many economic problems: 

1)  a huge debt arose from the many unfinished projects of the National Reorganization Process (1976-1983);

2)  the expense of the disastrous Falklands/Malvinas Islands War;

3)  he state's takeover of private debts;

4)  weakened industries;

5)  a high rate of employment;

6)  in 1989, Argentina's inflation reached 200% per month (3,000% plus annually).

1999 --  Argentina's Gross Domestic Product dropped 4% and the country went into recession. 

2002  --   three years of recession, ended in economic collapse.  Millions of Argentines sank into unemployment and poverty.



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