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Captive (Cautiva) (2003)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 648

My Rating

Movie Info

Gaston Biraben's political thriller Cautiva (Captive) concerns itself with what happened to the children of the people killed after the 1970s military coup. Cristina Quadri (Barbara Lombardo) is the model of a perfect student. Smart and affluent, her life is in perfect order until, one day, she is called from her class and made to appear in front of a judge. The judge informs her that her real parents were killed in the '70s. Cristina is forced to go live with her grandmother Elisa (Susana


Art House & International, Drama

Gaston Biraben

Sep 11, 2007

Laemmle/Zeller Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

Part detective story, part coming of political age saga, and all teenage identity crisis.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Biraben had devoted more energy to the human contours of his story, its metaphorical implications would have sorted themselves out.

November 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Neither Biraben's script nor his direction leave room for doubt as to how he feels about the nightmarish past, but he's smart enough to know that even justified outrage sometimes has to be tempered with the complexities of human intentions and realities.

November 23, 2006 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Argentine thriller Cautiva features a solid performance by 23-year-old Barbara Lombardo that goes a long way in making up for the telenovela script.

November 10, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The debut feature of Gastón Biraben, Cautiva is most potent in its first hour, as it bears witness to the disorientation and distrust experienced by a young girl whose life is suddenly turned upside down.

November 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This intriguing debut by Argentinean writer-director Gaston Biraben sets up a lot of tough choices before finally taking the easy way out.

November 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An almost Kafkaesque story of the daughter of two "disappeared" parents in Argentina discovering her true identity. Similar to "The Official Story" but with a key difference. The daughter is a teenager rather than a 5 year old and hence more vulnerable to

January 15, 2009 Full Review Source:

At every step, Cautiva is a noble, thoughtful effort. Too bad it's so often a dull one.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Another mediocre Argentinean film to ride into town on a wave of inexplicable critical approval.

November 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

Sporadically artful yet stupefyingly dull -- there are some segments that are so beautiful and monotonous that they very nearly hypnotise us...into a coma.

January 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comment (1)
Film Threat

A finely wrought coming-of-age drama that crackles with political tension...

July 11, 2004 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

Cautiva makes us question the things we take for granted.

June 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Audience Reviews for Captive (Cautiva)

[font=Century Gothic]In "Cautiva," it is 1994 and Cristina(Barbara Lombardo) has just turned 15. She is a nautrally curious teenager in Argentina, living on the outskirts of Buenos Aires with her parents(Osvaldo Santoro & Silvia Bayle) and attending Catholic school. All of that changes when she is pulled out of school one day and brought to the office of Judge Barrenechea(Hugo Arana) who calmly informs her that everything she has known is a lie and that her real parents were a pair of architecture students who were disappeared by the military junta. And in the process, he introduces Cristina to her real grandmother(Susana Campos). In response, Cristina makes a break for it...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Cautiva" is a very compelling movie whose only major fault is an inexplicable scene. In normal circumstances, we can presume that adoptive parents may have a stronger bond with their children than their blood relations who gave them up. But in Argentina, where babies were taken from their parents during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983, the right thing to do is to reunite them with their original families.(Contrary to what a schoolmate of Cristina's thinks, something is being done to right the old wrongs.) In the end, Cristina is not only questioning her identity but also the identity and history of her country which up to this point she had been kept largely ignorant of. See, the personal is the political. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]By the way, are their any human rights abuses that Henry Kissinger has not had a connection with?[/font]
March 1, 2008
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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