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Clandestine Childhood

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Clandestine Childhood
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBenjamín Ávila
Written byMarcelo Müller
Benjamín Ávila
Produced byLuis Puenzo
Benjamín Ávila
StarringErnesto Alterio
César Troncoso
Natalia Oreiro
CinematographyIván Gierasinchuk
Edited byGustavo Giani
Music byMarta Roca Alonso
Pedro Onetto
Habitación 1520
Distributed byDistribution Company (ARG)
Release dates
  • 20 September 2011 (2011-09-20) (San Sebastián)
  • 20 September 2012 (2012-09-20) (Argentina)
Running time
110 minutes[1]

Clandestine Childhood (Spanish: Infancia clandestina) is a 2011 Argentine historical drama film directed by Benjamín Ávila and starring Natalia Oreiro, Ernesto Alterio and César Troncoso.

Critically acclaimed, the film won ten awards from the Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences and five awards from the Argentine Film Critics Association, including the Silver Condor Award for Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress. It was Argentina's submission for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film to be presented in February 2013 at the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.[2]


The story is set in the Dirty War time period and during Argentina's last military dictatorship (1976-1983). A married couple of guerrilla soldiers from Montoneros are living in Cuba with their two children. With the help of "Uncle Beto", they forge new identities and return to the country in 1979, with the aim of taking part in the leftist counteroffensive against the military junta. The events are narrated from the point of view of Juan, one of the couple's children.[3]



The film is based on director Benjamín Ávila's childhood; his mother was affiliated with the Montoneros and disappeared during the last military dictatorship.[3] The actors spent several days with former Montoneros, to understand both the sociopolitical context of the time and the daily life of Montoneros partisans.[3]

Natalia Oreiro took part in the film before getting pregnant. She found that portraying the character was a difficult task, as the director wanted her to be both sweet and aggressive. Both Oreiro and co-star Ernesto Alterio criticized the tone of the film, pointing out that the parents exposed their children to situations that threatened their lives, and although the script does not explicitly condone the actions of the Montoneros, it is not critical of them, either.[3]

Natalia Oreiro is married to Ricardo Mollo, vocalist and lead guitar of the Rock band Divididos. Benjamín Ávila invited the band to provide the soundtrack if they liked the film. Although he does not appear on screen, Mollo played the guitar during a scene with Oreiro singing a song by the tango artist Enrique Santos Discépolo.[4]


The film was ranked as the 8th most seen film in Argentina at the premiere.[5] As of September 2012, the film was sold to 20 countries.[6]


The film was submitted by the Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences to compete for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards. It prevailed over El último Elvis by a single vote,[6][7] however the film did not receive a nomination.

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2013 Young Artist Award Best Performance in an International Feature Film - Young Actor Teo Gutierrez Romero Nominated [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Infancia clandestina" (in Spanish). Cine Nacional. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Infancia Clandestina va al Oscar". Terra Argentina. Terra Argentina. 28 September 2012. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Victoria Pérez Zabala (15 September 2012). "La doble vida de Juan" [Juan's double life] (in Spanish). La Nación. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  4. ^ Pedro Irigoyen (28 September 2012). "Oreiro: "Esto es un gran mimo"" [Oreiro: "This is a great hug"] (in Spanish). Clarín. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  5. ^ Ultracine (25 September 2012). "Un osito rendidor" [A resourceful little bear] (in Spanish). Clarín. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b Pablo O. Scholz (28 September 2012). "Infancia clandestina: la argentina elegida para el Oscar" [Clandestine Childhood: the Argentine one selected for the Oscar] (in Spanish). Clarín. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Oscar 2013: Infancia Clandestina representará a la Argentina" [Oscar 2013: Clandestine Childhood will represent Argentina] (in Spanish). La Nación. 28 September 2012. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  8. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 31 March 2013.

External links[edit]