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HIJOS/CHILDREN                                              (2001)

Director: Marco Bechis. Screenwriters: M. Bechis, Lara Fremder, with coll. Enrique Ahirman and Caterina Giargia. Photography: Fabio Cianchetti. Editing: Jacopo Quadri. costumes: Caterina Giargia. Scenography: Caterina Giargia, Paolo Polli. Original music: Jacques Lederlin, Daniel Buira and “La Chilingaâ€. Principal cast Carlos Echevarria (Javier Ramos), Julia Sarano (Rosa Ruggieri), Stefania Sandrelli (Vittoria Ramos), Enrique Pineyro (Raul Ramos), Antonella Costa (Ana).

Shown in competition at the 2001 Venice Film Festival

In a distant country a woman is giving birth, while outside two men are waiting to take the baby away. Twins are born, a boy and a girl. The boy is taken away by the men, but the midwife manages to hide the girl (Rosa) inside a bag.
Twenty years later Rosa, having travelled to Milan from Argentina, tells young Javier she is his sister: their real mother is a desaparecida. Javier's "adoptive parents", Argentines who emigrated to Italy, deny this story, but by then doubts have crept into Javier's mind. He decides to follow Rosa to Barcelona to get to the bottom of their strange history. In Barcelona there is a DNA test-centre that can determine their parentage, and it is also where the midwife lives who assisted at their birth.


Few directors in the world, and even fewer in Italy, are able to create films rich in content but also in their visual language and style. Marco Bechis is among those few.
Roberto Nepoti, La Repubblica

Children/Hijos makes no concessions to folksy images or to simplistic historical reconstruction, as if it is asking the viewers to try to question themselves on the moral dilemmas underlying the film and the issues it raises.
Paolo Mereghetti, Corriere della Sera

A harsh, rigourous film that pulls no punches. There can be no conciliation. No justification. Suspended midway between political testimony and Greek tragedy, this film represents a true indictment.
Dario Zonta, l'Unità

Children is a near-perfect film: at the same time measured and intense, capable of provoking emotions without wringing them out of us, realistic while rich in symbolic resonances. Pure style.
Roberto Nepoti, La Repubblica

It is exactly by its portrayal of these parents, who lie and are guilty yet have come to love their "adopted" son, that this film almost touches on a sense of compassion and ventures into the minefield of emotional ambivalence and the double power of memory.
Maurizio Porro, Corriere della Sera

I can almost picture you coming out of the cinema after seeing Children: quiet, angry, involved. Happy as one is after watching a good movie. And cheerful. And furious.
Lidia Ravera, l'Unità

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