Sofia

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Romance

Another superb entry from Argentina--a country that has recently pumped some new blood into world cinema. After an impressive showing last year led by MAN FACING SOUTHEAST; BAD COMPANY; A KING AND HIS MOVIE; and NIGHTMARE'S PASSENGERS; the Argentinian film industry delivers another vital piece of work in SOFIA. It stars Milrud as Pedro, a middle-class 17-year-old...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

Another superb entry from Argentina--a country that has recently pumped some new blood into world cinema. After an impressive showing last year led by MAN FACING SOUTHEAST; BAD COMPANY; A KING AND HIS MOVIE; and NIGHTMARE'S PASSENGERS; the Argentinian film industry delivers another vital

piece of work in SOFIA. It stars Milrud as Pedro, a middle-class 17-year-old who turns his back on his family, friends, and school in order to help Baret, an emotionally and physically weary woman who is being hunted by the intolerant, government-backed militia during the dark days of junta rule.

The political climate in Argentina is volatile--subversives are found dead in the streets, airports and train stations are crowded with heavily armed guards, and citizens are routinely apprehended if caught without their identification papers. Milrud's friends and classmates, however, are

primarily concerned with losing their virginity to a local prostitute--a group activity in which Milrud decides not to take part. One evening Baret, looking helpless and frightened, takes Milrud's arm and illicits his help in escaping the attention of some guards. Moments later she disappears

without even giving her name. Over the next few days, the smitten Milrud spots Baret wandering through the streets, riding the bus, and talking in a telephone booth. He finally catches up to her in a church where she collapses from exhaustion. After finding her a place to sleep for the evening,

Milrud offers her safe haven in his parent's second home. She explains that she is wanted by the government as a subversive because of her involvement with a Communist. She has no idea of her lover's whereabouts and wants only to escape from Argentina. Milrud finds himself infatuated with Baret,

skipping school and staying away from home for days at a time. After Baret spurns Milrud's first sexual advance, the jilted teenager heads home, leaving Baret behind in his parent's house. His parents realize that he is involved with some girl, but they have no idea that she is twice his age and

wanted by the government. He eventually returns to Baret, who offers herself to him and teaches the virginal youngster how to love a woman. The pair become lovers, and Milrud makes plans to escape to Europe with Baret. After efforts to contact Baret's former friends fail, Milrud steals his

parents' passports. The boy's father, Alterio, then confronts Baret. In an effort to keep his son out of trouble, Alterio pressures Baret to leave, giving her some money and a promise that he will not notify the authorities. However, Milrud tracks down Baret, bringing her the news that a friend

has arranged for a safe passage out of the country. At the last minute Milrud realizes that Baret has been set up. As she is taken away by armed guards, Milrud can do nothing but hopelessly give chase.

Merging elements of romance, drama, politics, and comedy, SOFIA is a skillfully crafted, superbly acted picture that concentrates more on its characters' dilemmas and emotions than on the larger issue of Argentinian politics. Instead of becoming immersed in political details or propaganda,

director Doria crafts a moving story about the opposing forces pulling at a young man. Rather than accept the choices that are offered him by his family, his friends, and the government, Milrud chooses to exercise his individual freedoms. He skips school, risks arrest by the militia, and refuses

to be brainwashed by officials who tell him to inform on subversives. Instead of acting as part of a group (be it his school, friends, or family), Milrud takes his chances outside of government and socially imposed rules. He helps Baret not because of her political convictions but because she,

too, is an individual fighting a struggle. Instead of fighting alone, Baret and Milrud find understanding and companionship in each other. Both actors turn in arresting performances--Baret portraying a frightened woman who tries to hide her fear, and Milrud an idealistic youngster who makes every

effort to be brave and comforting. Besides being a very fine actor, the somewhat gawky Milrud is blessed with a sense of comic timing that reminds the audience (and Baret) that there is still a boyish quality undermining his efforts at manhood. Deserving special mention are Dufau and Alterio as

Milrud's parents--a middle-class couple who are learning to cope with their son's restlessness and individuality. Although they set certain rules and attempt to be strict, they love him too much to oppose his actions. One of the film's finest scenes is Alterio's confrontation with Baret. Although

he pressures the woman to leave his son, there is a certain reluctance in his doing so. He understands her loneliness and fear, even offering her a friendly pat on the shoulder as a way of expressing his goodwill. His main concern, however, is the safety of his son, and he makes it clear that

although he sympathizes with Baret, he will fight to keep Milrud from harm. SOFIA is a coming-of-age film in which the main characters have substantive problems, as opposed to the Brat-Packers in John Hughes' movies who worry about their high school prom. (Brief nudity, sexual situations.)

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Another superb entry from Argentina--a country that has recently pumped some new blood into world cinema. After an impressive showing last year led by MAN FACING SOUTHEAST; BAD COMPANY; A KING AND HIS MOVIE; and NIGHTMARE'S PASSENGERS; the Argentinian film… (more)

Show More »