Leonera (AKA Lion’s Den) (2008) Dir. Pablo Trapero


An Argentine production that turns out to be a nice break from the latest blockbusters.

A movie about a mother that would do anything to be with her son. There has already been thousands such movies. “Leonera” is not a groundbreaking production, but it is simply a very good one. The action takes place in a prison, where Julia (Martina Gusman) gives birth to her son. Then, after some time, the child is taken from her. The story tells what Julia goes through to be with her child. It also tells how a young woman learns to be a mother. It shows a change, as well. Julia needs to become as strong as a lioness and as cunning as vixen to be able to win the fight for her son.

The movie is dramatic, but without this overtly sentimental drama. It doesn’t imitate life. Instead, it presents it realistically. There are no pretentious emotions, no unnecessary actions, and no pointless soliloquies. It’s simple, but absorbing. The ending is quite intense. Throughout the movie I grew to like Julia so I kept my fingers crossed for her and her son. I wanted them to make it.

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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