Pablo Trapero's film is set in a women's prison in Buenos Aires that makes Prisoner: Cell Block H look like the Four Seasons.
Martina Gusman stars as Julia, a young woman who begins her sentence for alleged murder in such a passive stupor that she can barely register her own desperate circumstances: pregnant, partnerless and without a clue as to what really happened in her apartment that night. Trapero chronicles the drip-drip passage of years – the birth of her son, the romance with a fellow prisoner, the reappearance of her estranged mother – and creates a genuine moral drama from the prison authorities' edict that children of inmates must be given up to outside care after four years. (There is an oddly upsetting shot of a baby's tiny feet being fingerprinted). The depiction of violence is less harrowing than it tends to be in male prison movies, though it's absolutely unflinching about the squalor, and the monotony.Reuse content