La Historia Oficial (The Official Story) (1985)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This is an emotionally gripping, fictional look at a couple torn apart by the infamous Argentine campaign of killings and torture that sent thousands of accused terrorists to unmarked graves in the mid-and late-'70s. Alicia (Norma Aleandro) and Roberto (Hector Alterio) adopted a little girl (Analia Castro) during this period of governmental terror in Argentina. Alicia has always wondered about the parents of their little girl, a topic her husband has forced her into forgetting as a condition of … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 5, 2000
Koch Lorber Films


as Enrique

as Father Ismael
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Critic Reviews for La Historia Oficial (The Official Story)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A rare film, which makes a powerful political statement while telling a touching personal story. In his feature debut, Puenzo shows commitment to human rights without imposing explicit political doctrine.

Full Review… | December 23, 2006

Audience Reviews for La Historia Oficial (The Official Story)

Even though the changes undergone by the protagonist seem rushed (not even her hair seems to follow an entirely consistent evolution), this is a deeply disturbing and painful drama that poses hard questions and examines the terrifying truth about a horrific moment in History.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A schoolteacher searches for her adopted daughter's origins.
Beginning as a film about how teachers teach/indoctrinate the state's dominant paradigm, the film quickly shifts focus to the teacher's family life. We learn that it is likely that her daughter was procured by illegal or immoral means by her government official husband. Bourgeois versus "common man" sympathies becomes the main conflict for the family and the film. Thus, The Official Story is a heady drama, one that ultimately condemns the upper classes by revealing violence hidden beneath the veneer of respectability.
I don't think I could appreciate the film as much as a native Argentinian because of my limited knowledge of their history; I've seen Evita and paid attention during World History in high school, but that's about it, and many of the oblique references to past military leaders was lost on me.
The drama also unfolds slowly. There are long zooms and pans and numerous shots of the main character looking pensive.
Overall, I think there's a lot to like about The Official Story, but it's not for all audiences, especially my classmates who fell asleep during World History and failed to see Evita.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


It takes a very intimate story and allows us to see through a small crack all the horror and tragedy suffered by a whole nation. Overwhelming.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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