Contemporary World Cinema
SIFF Says:This incredibly disturbing story, based on real events, follows the exploitation of newly hired butcher Hermógenes, and his trial after he murdered his boss in broad daylight. Having been filled with self-deprecation and feelings of uselessness ever since he was stamped “not apt” on his military papers because of his limp, Hermógenes finds promise when he moves to Buenos Aires and gets a job at a butcher shop. Sensing an opportunity to take advantage of his new hire’s naiveté, the owner of the shop, Don Latuada, puts Hermógenes in charge of another location, forcing him to work incredible hours, live in a tiny room in the back, and sell rotten meat by any means necessary. Latuada’s inhumane treatment eventually pushes him over the edge, and he ends up viciously murdering his boss in the middle of the day. This story is described via flashbacks during the controversial trial, where Hermógenes’ lawyer, Marcello Digiovanni, uses his investigation to reveal the horrible truths behind Argentinian worker/employer power imbalances, and exposes Latuada’s heinous mistreatment and manipulation. Bringing to the table a sense of his documentarian roots, director Sebastián Schindel crafts a neo-realistic drama with strong central performances that exposes a corrupt system.
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