The Secret In Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Oyos): Phillip Road

Saturday 9th July 7:30 Phillip Road
[18] Argentina 2009 129mins (subtitles)
Dir: Juan Jose Campanella

“A riveting and dark thriller, told in flashback focussing on a brutal unsolved crime from 25 years ago. Yet at the same time it is a love story, albeit one of unrequited love.

Benjamin has recently retired as a criminal court investigator and has embarked on writing a novel based on an unresolved crime, a brutal rape and murder, which has haunted him for most of his career. We move between Buenos Aries now and 1974 when Buenos Aries was an unremittingly grim place where mishandled crime investigations were a product of corrupt right-wing politics. There are two strands to this story – Benjamin’s attempts to solve the case and the unresolved emotional relationship between him and Irene, judge and former senior colleague.

The film’s title is illustrated by striking camera-work, close-ups that dwell on the faces of the main protagonists, eyes that do indeed signal unspoken secrets. I thought it was a compelling drama, brilliantly acted and extremely well-made; fully deserving of its Oscar for best foreign language film in 2010. “Moira Collett

“The Secret in Her Eyes is a supremely watchable, well-made and well-acted movie with a dark, sinewy sense of history: a tremendously slick thriller… respect has to be paid right away to Campanella’s most delirious big-screen flourish: an unbroken travelling shot that begins soaring over a football stadium during an evening match, swooping down into the stands where a suspected felon is being sought, tensely following him into the lavatories and then out on to the field itself… a colossal real-world crowd scene.” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian, 12 August 2010