Argentina euphoric after Oscar for best foreign film

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The Independent Culture

Argentina erupted with joy Monday on news that its film "El Secreto de Sus Ojos" ("The Secret in Their Eyes") came away with the Oscar for best foreign language film.

"This is a historic moment," veteran actor Guillermo Francella, a member of the film's cast, said in a television interview after the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood handed Argentina its first golden statuette in 25 years.

"The people felt it personally, which is why there is so much joy in Argentina."

The winning film, based on a novel by Eduardo Sacheri, tells the story of an investigator in 1999 trying to solve the 1974 case of the rape and murder of a woman in Buenos Aires, highlighting the turbulence of the 1970s.

"We're happy because we won.... It was a fantastic film I saw twice and which had an impact on me," President Cristina Kirchner said.

"With (director Juan Jose) Campanella's talent and the huge public success in Argentina, we showed that this film could win the Oscar."

The telecast of the Oscars ceremony was the most-watched program by Argentines of the day - late Sunday from Hollywood but the early morning hours of Monday for the South American nation.

For anyone who missed it, news channels continuously repeated the moment in which Campanella raised the statuette.

Monday morning newspapers tore up their front pages to issue second editions with news of the film award, which was the second for Argentina, the only country in Latin America which has won the award.

The Argentine film topped "Ajami" from Israel, "The Milk of Sorrow" from Peru, "Un Prophete" from France and "The White Ribbon" from Germany to win the prize for best foreign language film.

"It was really miraculous because the films they were competing against were excellent," said Ricardo Darin, another member of the cast.