2004 Looking for Victoria (Docu - Netherlands)


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A Tom Vriens Intl. (Amsterdam) production, in association with Capo, NIK Media, Netherlands TV Fund. Produced by Ton Vriens. Executive producers, Annet Betsalal, Naomi Mayer Directed by Ton Vriens. Written by Vriens, Christopher Terrgue.
With: Adriana Lewi.

Tough-minded docu digs into difficult stuff -- the singling out of Jews for especially bad treatment during Argentina's battle against its own people --and strikes some emotional chords without quite finding its basic theme. "Looking for Victoria" will be found at human rights and Jewish themed fests, but would need some tinkering to go further.

Adriana Lewi lost her radical parents during Argentina's Dirty War of the late '70s. Attempt to find what happened to her Jewish father and Catholic mother (of the title) is aided by old comrades and an Israeli inquest, which finds that Jews were disproportionately punished in U.S.-blessed sweep of dissidents, students and anyone else who might rock the boat. Her father's torture death was particularly gruesome. The hard-bitten Lewi, whose weight rises and drops alarmingly, tries to bring meaning to the horror, with baby and boyfriend in tow. She's not terribly articulate, though, and neither is the movie -- more historical context would make this a more useful document. And when title cards report that b.f. killed himself after filming stopped, auds wonder what they missed.

Camera (color, Beta SP), Vriens; editors, Francois Bernardi, Elizabet Carteyns; music, Pablo Ziegler. Reviewed on videocassette at Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, May 19, 2004. Running time: 60 MIN.