Story by: Jack Foley
EMMA Thompson was virtually reduced to tears after her latest
film, Imagining Argentina, was panned by critics at the Venice
British director, Christopher Hampton, has helmed the film, which
chronicles the 'dirty war' that raged in Argentina during the
Seventies, and which mixes magic realism with graphic scenes of
According to reports in several national newspapers, critics
booed the film, as well as labelling it a 'disgrace', during a
preview screening on the Monday of the festival (September 1,
But Thompson remained defiant, insisting that the film's subject
matter and style was bound to be criticised by some.
She arged that when you're dealing with a subject that is 'as
tricky and controversial as state-sponsored terrorism', film-makers
are treading a very thin line, particularly when combining it
with 'magic realism'.
"Some people are going to have that response," she
The film attempts to relate the story of 30,000 people who were
imprisoned or murdered under the former political regime.
Thompson stars as a journalist who goes missing after writing
an article about the country's so-called 'disappeared'.
Thompson, who was visibly upset following the screening, refused
to let the reaction get to her, however, insisting that she didn't
care because 'we were there and we were working with people who
went through these atrocities'.
Hampton also defended the film by arguing that he had attempted
to portray the mental opposition of the people to state repression.
He added: "You can't take on a subject like this without
being extremely contentious."
The film co-stars Antonio Banderas as Thompson's husband, Carlos
Rueda, who directs a children's theatre production. He returns
home one day to find his wife has been taken to one of the secret
prisons that were exposed by his wife's articles.