Latin Culture

350-500 words answer all questions in paragraph form

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Film Review Guidelines for Our Disappeared 

Written, directed, and narrated by Juan Mandelbaum

Films, whether fiction or non-fiction, help create imagery in our minds and bring to life the subject matter. Within that imagery, the filmmaker’s perspectives on society, culture, politics, morality, ethics, religion and more are presented. As the viewer, we watch not only for entertainment and content, but also for context. This film review will help you understand the point of view of Juan Mandelbaum, an exiled Argentinean, who revisits his past and searches for answers by exploring a horrific time period he and his friends lived through under the military regime in Argentina. 

The following are points to ponder and questions to help guide you in the writing of a documentary film review. You are not required to answer all these questions, they are to trigger your thoughts and notetaking throughout your viewing of the film and help shape your approach. Where possible, I’ve included the minute markers as a reference. Be mindful that your review is not a synopsis of the film, but an analysis of it. In other words, do not summarize the film, analyze it. 

The review should be written in essay form with an introduction, body and conclusion.

Preliminary Questions

What is the main purpose or thesis of Our Disappeared?

Is it made to be informative, political, cultural or something else?

Who is the main audience? In other words, who should see this film?

What approach or style did Juan Mandelbaum use? (e.g., personal interviews, historical footage, narration, reenactments, dramatizations etc…)

Specific Questions and Ideas on Content and Context (pick a few points to analyze, could be a scene or scenes, imagery, music, specific character etc…)

What occurred during the 1970s that gave rise to the mobilization of Argentine workers and students against the military dictatorship? (8:30)

The narrator, Juan, described Juan Peron as a master chess player. What does he mean by this? (11:00)

How might Juan’s pacifist parents have influenced his point of view or the choices he made when he lived in Argentina?

Why is June 20, 1973 considered a “powerful day?” (23:00)

Why were most people of the narrator’s socio-economic profile reactionary and progressive during the 1970s? (34:00)

What was the ruling ideology of the military junta? (50:00)

Explain U.S. involvement in the Dirty War. When did involvement shift and why?

What does the segment on El Olimpo provide the viewer with?

What is the significance of Jorge Chianetti’s daughter saying “Present!” ?(1:27:00)

“In the end, life beats death,” Juan Manuel (the son of the Weiz couple)

“Remember, Grieve, and Share.” 

In the Jewish religion, “The worst curse is when no one remembers you.”- Ruth Weiz

Concluding Thoughts

How does the narrator close the film?

Was there anything the narrator failed to mention or left unsaid that would have been helpful to your understanding of the film?

Did you gain, alter, or shift your previous perceptions of the topic?

How did the film enhance what you already knew on the topic?

How might the film affect Argentineans or citizens of nations who went through similar events? 

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