El Bonaerense

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El bonaerense
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Pablo Trapero
Produced by Pablo Trapero
Written by Nicolas Gueilburt
Ricardo Ragendorfer
Dodi Shoeuer
Pablo Trapero
Daniel Valenzuela
Starring Jorge Román
Mimí Ardú
Darío Levy
Music by Pablo Lescano
Cinematography Guillermo Nieto
Edited by Nicolás Goldbart
Distributed by Pol-Ka
Release date
  • May 21, 2002 (2002-05-21) (France)
  • September 19, 2002 (2002-09-19) (Argentina)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

El bonaerense is a 2000 Argentine, Chilean, French, and Dutch drama film. It was directed and produced by Pablo Trapero. The screenplay was a joint effort of Nicolas Gueilburt, Ricardo Ragendorfer, Dodi Shoeuer, Pablo Trapero, and actor Daniel Valenzuela, and partly funded by INCAA. It features Jorge Román, Mimí Ardú, among others.[1]

The movie deals with the corruption of the Bonaerense Police in the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, and the lives of those involved in it.


Zapa (Jorge Román) is a locksmith apprentice living the simple life in Corrientes with his family.

After the locksmith Polaco (Hugo Anganuzzi) pulls a job on a safe and uses him as a scapegoat, Zapa is made to pay for the crime by serving in the Buenos Aires police jail, which is pictured as notoriously corrupt. This takes him to the La Matanza barrio in Greater Buenos Aires.

Here, Zapa is taken in as the protegé of his superior Gallo (Darío Levy) and begins to climb the ladder of corruption. At the same time he has an affair with instructor Mabel (Mimí Ardú).

His journey through the political underworld as he frames and bribes ultimately takes him to the edge of innocence, and a final confrontation with El Polaco.



  • Jorge Román as Zapa
  • Mimí Ardú as Mabel
  • Darío Levy as Gallo
  • Víctor Hugo Carrizo as Molinari
  • Hugo Anganuzzi as Polaco
  • Graciana Chironi as Zapa's Mother
  • Luis Viscat as Pellegrino
  • Roberto Posse as Ismael
  • Aníbal Barengo as Caneva
  • Lucas Olivera as Abdala
  • Gastón Polo as Lanza
  • Jorge Luis Giménez as Berti


The film was first presented at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival on May 21 in the Un Certain Regard section.[2] It opened in Argentina on September 19, 2002.

The picture was screened at various film festivals, including: the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czech Republic; the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada; the Chicago International Film Festival, United States; the Bergen International Film Festival, Norway; the Stockholm International Film, Sweden; and others.


Critical response[edit]

New York Times film critic Stephen Holden lauded the film and wrote, "There are no crusading moralists to clean up the mess in El Bonaerense, Pablo Trapero's grim, dispassionate drama of police corruption, set mostly in contemporary Buenos Aires. This powerful sweat-stained swatch of Argentine neo-realism, filmed in harsh high contrast that throws its characters' faces into deep shadow, follows the initiation of Zapa (Jorge Román), a naïve police recruit, into a labyrinth of sleaze...[the film] is all the more disturbing for refusing to act as an exposé. It just throws up its hands and says that this is the way it is. And its pointed detachment lends certain scenes an almost farcical sense of the absurd."[3]




  • Thessaloniki Film Festival: Golden Alexander, Pablo Trapero; 2002.
  • Argentine Film Critics Association Awards: Silver Condor, Best Art Direction, Sebastián Roses; Best Cinematography, Guillermo Nieto; Best Director, Pablo Trapero; Best Film; Best New Actor, Jorge Román; Best Original Screenplay, Pablo Trapero; Best Sound, Catriel Vildosola; Best Supporting Actress, Mimí Ardú; 2003.
  • Cartagena Film Festival: Golden India Catalina, Best Film, Pablo Trapero; 2004.


  1. ^ El bonarense at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: El Bonaerense". Festival de Cannes. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen. The New York Times, film review, November 26, 2003. Last accessed: February 6, 2008.

External links[edit]