Arregui, the News of the Day | Chicago Reader

Arregui, the News of the Day

Maria Victoria Menis's 2001 Argentinean feature opens with the search for a fugitive, Leopoldo Arregui (Enrique Pinti), chronicled in grainy video by vacuous television reporters, then relates in flashback what led the ordinary if grumpy middle-aged bureaucrat into such a mess. Everything in his life is broken: his television, the elevator in his building, his marriage, his grown children's lives, and the supreme court of Argentina, where he's been a clerk for 35 years. The revelation that he might have contracted AIDS during casual sex with a coworker plunges him into despair and then spurs him to violence. The predictable and heavy-handed script is partly a satire of TV news, partly a commentary on the country's rampant governmental corruption and ossified middle class; it makes some good points, but only when Arregui is visited by a parable-telling, hora-dancing rabbi does the film spark briefly to life. In Spanish with subtitles. 110 min.

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