Waiting for the Messiah

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Waiting for the Messiah
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Daniel Burman
Produced by Executive Producer:
Diego Dubcovsky
Luis Ángel Bellaba
Enrique Piñeyro
Written by Daniel Burman
Emiliano Torres
Starring Daniel Hendler
Enrique Piñeyro
Héctor Alterio
Music by César Lerner
Marcelo Moguilevsky
Cinematography Ramiro Civita
Edited by Verónica Chen
Distributed by Astrolabio Producciones S.L.
Amanda Films S.L.
BD Cine
Aqua Films
TLA Releasing
Release dates
  • May 25, 2000 (2000-05-25) (Argentina)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

Waiting for the Messiah (Spanish: Esperando al mesías) is a 2000 Argentine, Spanish, and Italian comedy drama film directed by Daniel Burman. The film features Daniel Hendler, Enrique Piñeyro, Héctor Alterio, Melina Petriella, Stefania Sandrelli, Imanol Arias and Dolores Fonzi, among others.[1]

The film won many awards including Best Film at the Lleida Latin-American Film Festival in Spain. The film takes place in a Jewish community of Buenos Aires.


The picture tells of Ariel (Daniel Hendler), a post-production video editor, a young man who is torn between his devotion to traditional family ties and the desire for something different, and, of Santamaria (Enrique Piñeyro) an older bank employee who suddenly finds his life in complete turmoil.

Santamaria is unexpectedly fired from his bank job due to the world's stock market shocks. His wife takes this event as an opportunity to get rid of him and put him out on the street. Forced to make a small living returning stolen wallets, Santamaria finds some hope in Elsa, a bathroom attendant (Stefania Sandrelli) who is waiting for her husband to be released from prison.

Ariel is very much against the restraints of a future that will see him take over his elderly father's (Héctor Alterio) restaurant and marry an Argentine Jewish girl (Melina Petriella). At the same time, Ariel is also attracted to a sexy co-worker, Laura (Chiara Caselli), who tells him she's a lesbian.



The title alludes to the Jewish belief of "waiting for the Messiah"; in this case, characters are shown at first to be inactive and dormant, until death and crisis forces them to take action and reevaluate their lives.


The film opened wide in Argentina on May 25, 2000.

The picture was then presented at the Toronto Film Festival on September 14, 2000, and later at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 12, 2001.


  • Bratislava International Film Festival: Grand Prix, Daniel Burman; 2000.
  • Thessaloniki Film Festival: Golden Alexander, Daniel Burman; 2000.
  • Valladolid International Film Festival: Golden Spike, Daniel Burman; 2000.
  • Argentine Film Critics Association Awards: Silver Condor, Best Director, Daniel Burman; Best Film; Best New Actor, Daniel Hendler; Best New Actress, Melina Petriella; Best Original Screenplay, Daniel Burman and Emiliano Torres; Best Supporting Actress, Stefania Sandrelli; 2001.


External links[edit]