Another chilling tale of corruption
The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar is a chilling true crime documentary, diving deep into the heart of Argentine corruption, politics and power plays. Although the run-time is a tad overlong and the movie does sag a little in the middle, there’s certainly enough here to whet the appetite.
This is a crime that rocked Argentina and with it, brought about a wave of change; the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Rewinding a second though, the series centers on the death of a prominent journalist working for a well-known magazine called Noticias. At 6pm on January 25th 1997 a burning car is found by authorities. Inside is Jose Luis Cabezas, handcuffed to the steering wheel and burned beyond recognition (Save for an identical key to a colleague used to identify him.)
As his family and colleagues strive for justice, it soon becomes apparent that this case goes all the way up the chain of command, with corrupt politicians, police officers and more involved in this case. While there is a resolution to this one, it also serves to underline the problems this nation is still grappling with in the wake of such a shocking murder.
Most of the film is shot with archival footage from the time, overlaid with narration and laced with talking head interviews. In terms of style, this is a very straightforward documentary, although there are a couple of nice stylistic cues to accentuate certain elements of the case.
For the most part though, this film relies heavily on footage from the time, which certainly helps to paint a portrait of the mood and feel of those involved in this case back in the 90’s.
There have been a lot of these documentaries recently – especially from Central and South America -diving into corrupt politicians and uneasy tensions between civilians and those in power.
The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar is a pretty comprehensive breakdown of what happened to Jose Luis, with all the bells and whistles to help pad this documentary out. As mentioned previously, it is a tad overlong but this is another sobering reality check that corruption is very much a part of our society.
Verdict - 7/10