full title
LION’S DEN (2008)
  • Director Pablo TRAPERO
    Year 2008
    Status Completed
    Genre drama
    Starring Martina GUSMAN, Elli MEDEIROS
    Running Time 113 min.
    Country of Production Argentina
    Festival & Awards Argentine Contender for 2009 Academy Awards - Best Foreign Language Film
    2008 Cannes Film Festival - Competition
    Synopsis Julia wakes up in her apartment, surrounded by the bloody corpses of Ramiro and Nahuel. Ramiro is still alive; Nahuel is dead. Both have been, obscure and simultaneously, her lovers and one made Julia pregnant.
    Julia is sent to a prison housing mothers and pregnant inmates. There she spends her first days absorbed and aloof.
    Two characters enter her life. One is Marta, a fellow inmate who has reared two children in prison and who becomes her guide and counselor; the other is Sofía, Julia’s own mother, an ambiguous character who Julia meets up with again after many years. Sofía attempts to repair the mistakes of the past; she helps her daughter, gets her a good lawyer, sends her baby clothes, and slowly reestablishes her relationship with Julia.
    The legal case involving the death of Nahuel, has two possible guilty parties: Julia and Ramiro, both in prison in different penitentiaries. Their testimonies are contradictory, one incriminating the other.
    The child is born, a baby boy whose name is Tomás. Bringing up a child in prison is difficult. At the same time, Julia begins to feel that she is a mother almost against her will. She understands that the only thing that matters to her is this new being that accompanies her now, that there is no life for her beyond that of her child.
    Julia decides to visit Ramiro in the Men’s prison where he is held. The events of the night of the crime remain muddled for both, just as their feelings towards each other.
    In the trial, Ramiro’s testimony will prove crucial to determine Julia’s sentence.
    Her friend Marta becomes her ally; her mother, her opponent. One attempts to teach her how to be a mother to her child in the least appropriate place; the other wishes to take over bringing up of the child, so that he should grow up outside prison, in freedom. The duel between Julia and Sofia expresses the dilemma of what is better for the child, to be brought up in prison next to his mother or without her, but in freedom.
    After several years in prison, Julia, grown accustomed to the prison environment, has become hard, a woman who must struggle to recover her freedom and that of her son.