Lost Embrace (2004)
(EL ABRAZO PARTIDO) (2004)
A Film Review
Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005
Today, Argentina is often referred as embodiment of economic ruin, but a century ago it used to be one of the most prosperous parts of the world. Many of the impoverished and underprivileged Europeans saw little difference between seeking fortune in New York or Buenos Aires. As a result, Argentina is often perceived as one of the most multi-ethnic parts of Latin America. Some of the issues related to ethnically diverse background of many modern-day Argentines are the subject of LOST EMBRACE, 2004 comedy directed by Daniel Burman.
Protagonist of the film is Ariel Makaroff (played by Daniel Handler), young Jewish man of Jewish descent who works as a clerk in his family's lingerie store, situated in mini-mall where the stores are owned by people from various parts of the world. This situation forces Ariel to start questioning his identity, especially with the return of his long-absent father who had left one year-old Ariel in order to fight for Israel in Yom Kippur War. At the same time Ariel considers using the Polish background of his ancestors in order to obtain Polish citizenship and emigrate to Europe, which is now more prosperous than Argentina.
The basic idea behind LOST EMBRACE - exploring individual identity in increasingly globalised and multi-ethnic world - could have resulted for intriguing and interesting film. Unfortunately, director Burman is obviously unable to express such ideas in any coherent way. In an apparent attempt to make LOST EMBRACE into Argentine version of Woody Allen's films, Burman makes film that gives ultimate impression of missed opportunity, very much like many of the more recent films of New York director. The plot is burdened with often irritating stream of consciousness narration, while the audience is confused with jerky camera moves. There are, however, quite a few scenes worth watching in LOST EMBRACE, most notably those featuring Rosita Lardner singing in Yiddish. Those, however, aren't enough to make this cinematic underachievement into anything more than merely watchable.
RATING: 4/10 (+)