Synopsis by Mark Deming
Juan José Campanella helmed this crime thriller about judicial cover-ups and corruption in Argentina. Ricardo Darín stars as Benjamín, a former criminal court employee who wants to write a novel about an Argentine case from the 1970s in which a woman was raped and murdered. He confides his intentions to a judge with whom he's been secretly smitten for years, Irene (Soledad Villamil), but she expresses reservations about the idea, for reasons that eventually become apparent. Meanwhile, flashbacks set up the central story, unfolding in 1970s Argentina. In that narrative, Argentina has fallen under the control of a military junta and a fair trial has become an increasingly uncommon event in that nation's courts. A woman is found raped and murdered while her husband was at work, and two immigrant workers are essentially forced into confessing to the crime. Benjamín then teams up with his colleague and friend, the lush Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), and the two go about identifying and tagging the perpetrator of the original crime. Subtle detail in a photograph alerts Benjamin to the possibility that a man named Gómez (Javier Godino) may have been the real culprit, but finding Gómez and obtaining conclusive evidence against him is no simple task. Moreover, as Benjamín and Pablo struggle to have the case reopened, they also find that bureaucracy and power in Argentine government have made this close to impossible. El Secreto de Sus Ojos (aka The Secret in Their Eyes) received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.