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Film / El Clan

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El Clan is a 2015 Argentine film, starring Guillermo Francella, and it is Very Loosely Based on a True Story.

The film is about the Puccio family, part of a scandal in the 1980s. The father Arquímedes Puccio kidnapped people during the National Reorganization Process, got huge amounts of money for their rescue, and then killed them. He was protected by a commodore, who endorsed his activities. He continued with it after the fall of the Process and the restoration of democracy, even when the commodore warned him that he was not able to protect him any longer. One family does not pay and arrange a fake payment with the police instead, who capture them, raid his house, and free their prisoner. They are all send to jail, and Arquímedes son, Alexis, tries to commit suicide.


El Clan contains examples of:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Arquímides was the mastermind, Alexander and Maguilla openly helped him with the operations. But what about Silvia, Adriana and Guillermo? Arquímides wife knew and justified his actions, but did not take an active role. Guillermo left the contry as soon as he discovered the truth. Adriana discovered the truth but couldn't do anything about it (not even leave the family as Guillermo), as she was just an underaged girl. Their fate was discussed when Arquímides was detained.
  • Apathetic Citizens
    • Arquímides called his victims from public phone booths, to avoid being traced, but anyone that passes by may hear him. Nobody ever reported his suspicious calls.
    • The kidnap attempt that ended in the murder of the victim. Arquímides told Alexis that "everybody saw them"; but as the police did not arrive until the next case, it seems that nobody cared.
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  • Auto Erotica: Alexis and his new girlfriend had fun, while Arquimides tried to keep on with the kidnappings without him.
  • Defector from Decadence: Guillermo left the family when he first noticed his father's activities, and never returned. Alexis tried to do the same, but could not do it in time.
  • Engineered Public Confession: The last family recorded the phone threats of the kidnapper. The voice of Arquímides can be clearly recognized.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In one of the scenes, Arquímides acts as a good parent and tells each member of the family that it's the time for dinner... and then puts on the mask, take some food to the guy held prisoner, and tell him that it's time for dinner, in the same tone.
  • Freudian Excuse: Arquímides thinks that the rich people are the cause of the ruin of the country. And, within his mind, that justifies kidnapping and killing them.
  • Hope Spot: When the police arrived and detained them, Maguilla managed to take the suitcase with the money and run away. It was useless, further police units show up and stop him.
  • How We Got Here: The film starts with the police breaking into a house and liberating a captive woman. Then, it goes back and tell things from the begining.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Initially, the military were not very concerned about the end of the dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in 1983. It will be just a brief civil interlude, and the military will return to power in full force before you even notice! In 32 years, that never came to pass.
  • Kick the Dog: Arquímides is in prison, and there is very strong evidence against him and his family. Still, he can spare his family by declaring himself guilty and taking all the blame; they would have lower sentences if they are just passive acccomplices. But no, if Arquímedes goes down, everybody goes down with him.
  • Lonely Funeral: According to the last credits, the real Arquímedes Puccio died in 2008. Nobody wanted to receive his body, which was disposed of in a common pit.
  • Loud of War: The Puccio used loud music to conceal the screams of their victims.
  • Never My Fault: Alexander left the whole business. Arquímides' next operation fails, as the victim does not follow the actions they calculated, and they murder him instead. Arquímides blames Alexander for that failure, for not being there.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Tired of his father's arrogance, Alexis gave one of those to Arquímides in his cell. And There Was Much Rejoicing at the nearby cells, because Even Evil Has Standards.
  • Not Quite Dead: Partly a meta-case. In the last scene, Alexis escapes from the police, and jumps from a balcony to his death. The final subtitles clarified that the real Alexis Puccio survived his suicide attempt, and tried to commit suicide several other times after it.
  • Phone-Trace Race: Arquímides avoids making calls from his own house. He phones the families of his victims from public phones (have in mind that the film is set in the 1980s, there were still public phones back then).
  • Protector Behind Bars: Not actual bars, but the political power and influence of the military was reduced so much that the commodore was no longer capable to conceal Arquímides' actions anymore.
  • The Remnant: Arquímides Puccio flowrished under the National Reorganization Process. The dictatorship fell, but he tried to continue with it as if nothing had happened.
  • Villain Protagonist: A family that kidnaps people, the protagonists? It goes without saying.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The film ends detailing the ultimate fate of each of the members of the real Puccio family.

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