Susann Michaels

Written by Susann Michaels

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The movie “The Official Story” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that delves into the political turmoil and human rights violations during the Argentine Dirty War in the 1970s. Directed by Luis Puenzo, this critically acclaimed film captured international attention and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1985. Set against the backdrop of a troubled era in Argentina’s history, “The Official Story” follows Alicia, a middle-aged teacher who becomes increasingly troubled by the suspicious circumstances surrounding the adoption of her daughter. As Alicia embarks on a journey to uncover the truth, the film explores themes of identity, truth, and justice. In this article, we delve into 44 fascinating facts about “The Official Story,” offering a deeper understanding and appreciation for this impactful cinematic masterpiece.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Official Story is a powerful Argentine film that won an Academy Award and sheds light on the country’s dark history, inspiring audiences to seek truth and justice.
  • Through compelling storytelling and brilliant performances, The Official Story prompts viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and advocate for a more just and inclusive society.
Table of Contents

A Story of Truth and Consequences

The Official Story, directed by Luis Puenzo, is an Argentine film that was released in It tells the poignant story of a woman who becomes aware of the true origins of her adopted daughter amidst the political turmoil of the 1980s.

An Academy Award-Winning Masterpiece

The Official Story won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in This prestigious recognition solidified its status as one of the most celebrated Argentine films of all time.

Addresses the Dirty War in Argentina

The movie delves into the dark period of Argentine history known as the Dirty War, where thousands of people disappeared under the military dictatorship. It explores the painful aftermath and the moral dilemmas faced by the citizens.

Stellar Performances by the Cast

The Official Story features remarkable performances by its cast, particularly Norma Aleandro and Héctor Alterio. Aleandro’s portrayal of Alicia, the main protagonist, earned her the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Inspired by Real-Life Stories

The screenplay of The Official Story draws inspiration from the accounts of individuals who lived through the atrocities of the Dirty War. The film seeks to give a voice to those victims and raise awareness about the ongoing search for truth and justice.

International Recognition

Aside from winning an Academy Award, The Official Story also received accolades from various film festivals worldwide, including the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language.

A Powerful Examination of Identity

The movie explores the themes of identity and self-discovery, as Alicia grapples with the realization that her adopted daughter may have been taken from a victim of the dictatorship.

Confronting the Dark Past

Through The Official Story, director Luis Puenzo shines a light on the painful chapter in Argentina’s history, encouraging the audience to confront the atrocities committed and reflect on the consequences that lingered long after.

Impact on Argentine Society

The film sparked conversations and debates in Argentina, causing a shift in public perception and leading to further investigations into the human rights abuses that occurred during the military dictatorship.

A Critically Acclaimed Masterpiece

The Official Story achieved widespread critical acclaim, with many praising its compelling storytelling, exceptional performances, and its ability to shed light on a significant historical period.

Earning its Place in Cinema History

The Official Story remains a cinematic landmark, not only for its exploration of the Dirty War but also for its contribution to the representation of Latin American cinema on the global stage.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

The film left a lasting impact on Argentine society, prompting a resurgence of interest in the events of the Dirty War and fostering a commitment to seeking truth, justice, and remembrance.

International Distribution

The Official Story was distributed internationally, allowing audiences from around the world to witness the harrowing story of Alicia and the repercussions of state-sanctioned violence.

A Timeless and Relevant Film

The themes explored in The Official Story, such as political oppression, the search for truth, and the struggle for justice, remain relevant in today’s world, making the film a timeless masterpiece.

Transcending Borders

The success of The Official Story marked a significant moment in Latin American cinema, showcasing the ability of Argentine filmmakers to tell stories that resonate with global audiences.

A Voice for the Voiceless

The Official Story amplifies the voices of the victims and survivors whose stories were often silenced during the military dictatorship. The film serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of sharing their narratives.

Tragic and Emotionally Charged

The Official Story manages to evoke a range of emotions, from heartbreak to anger to hope, as the characters navigate the aftermath of the Dirty War and search for personal and national healing.

Supporting the Truth and Justice Movement

The film’s release provided a platform for activists and organizations advocating for truth and justice, further fueling the grassroots movement that sought accountability for the crimes committed during the dictatorship.

A Triumph of Argentine Cinema

The Official Story’s success paved the way for a new era of Argentine cinema, inspiring a generation of filmmakers who continued to explore and challenge the country’s turbulent history through their art.

Celebrating Cultural Resilience

The Official Story stands as a testament to the resilience of Argentine culture, reminding the world of the power of storytelling to confront and heal from the wounds of the past.

A Global Audience

The film resonated with viewers around the world, providing a window into the realities faced by those living under oppressive regimes and reminding us of the universal struggle for truth and justice.

A Thought-Provoking Experience

The Official Story challenges viewers to question their own beliefs, confront uncomfortable truths, and consider the impact of silence and complicity in the face of injustice.

The Official Story Inspires Action

The film has motivated individuals and organizations to actively engage in the pursuit of truth, justice, and human rights, both in Argentina and in other parts of the world.

An Unforgettable Cinematic Journey

The Official Story captivates audiences from start to finish, with its compelling narrative, powerful performances, and its ability to transport viewers back to a tumultuous period in Argentine history.

The Power of Truth

The Official Story highlights the transformative power of uncovering the truth, as Alicia’s journey forces her to confront her own privilege and complicity in the face of immense human suffering.

A Film Ahead of Its Time

Long before the #MeToo and human rights movements gained prominence, The Official Story shed light on issues of gender, complicity, and the importance of challenging the status quo.

Multilayered Storytelling

The Official Story weaves together personal and political narratives, bridging the gap between individual experiences and wider societal implications, resulting in a profoundly impactful viewing experience.

The Official Story’s Enduring Legacy

The film’s legacy continues to resonate in the collective memory of Argentine society, serving as a powerful reminder of the importance of acknowledging and learning from the past.

Amplifying Marginalized Voices

The Official Story amplifies the voices of the historically marginalized individuals and communities affected by state violence, reminding us of the collective responsibility to ensure their stories are heard and honored.

Connecting Past and Present

The Official Story creates a bridge between the past and the present, sparking conversations about the ongoing struggle for accountability and the pursuit of justice in the face of impunity.

The Official Story’s Global Impact

The film’s success and critical acclaim opened doors for more diverse and inclusive storytelling in world cinema, paving the way for a greater representation of Latin American narratives on the international stage.

The Power of Cinema as a Catalyst for Change

The Official Story exemplifies the potential of cinema to serve as a catalyst for social and political change, inspiring audiences to take action and advocate for justice and human rights.

The Official Story’s Enduring Relevance

Decades after its release, The Official Story remains a highly relevant film as societies continue to grapple with transitional justice and the establishment of historical truths.

Sparking Dialogue and Reflection

The Official Story invites viewers to reflect on their own roles in society, the power of collective memory, and the importance of confronting uncomfortable truths for the sake of healing and progress.

An Unflinching Portrayal of Reality

The Official Story does not shy away from depicting the brutal realities of the Dirty War, challenging audiences to confront the atrocities committed and actively work towards preventing such horrors from being repeated.

The Official Story’s International Reception

The film’s international success introduced a wider audience to the Argentine film industry and its talent, leading to greater opportunities and recognition for artists within the country.

A Lesson in Empathy

The Official Story invites viewers to step into the shoes of its characters, fostering empathy and understanding for those who experienced the horrors of state-sponsored violence.

Uniting Art and Activism

The Official Story demonstrates the potential of art to act as a catalyst for social change, inspiring viewers to become more politically engaged and challenge systems of oppression.

A Testimony to Human Resilience

Through the resilience of its characters, The Official Story reminds us of the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity, inspiring hope for a better future.

An Exposé of the Truth

The Official Story peels back the layers of silence and denial, exposing the truth behind the disappeared and the complicity of those who remained silent in the face of injustice.

Leaving a Lasting Impression

The Official Story is a film that lingers in the minds and hearts of its viewers, prompting continued reflection on personal and collective responsibility in the face of human rights abuses.

Challenging Historical Narratives

The Official Story serves as a counter-narrative to the sanctioned version of history, providing an alternative perspective on the events that transpired during the Dirty War.

A Tale of Redemption

The Official Story offers a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness, showing the capacity for redemption and personal growth in the face of past mistakes and complicity.

The Official Story’s Enduring Message

The film serves as a reminder that the pursuit of truth and justice goes beyond individual stories, infiltrating the collective consciousness and shaping the collective memory of a nation.

The Official Story: A Powerful Exploration of Truth and Justice

The Official Story is a masterpiece of Argentine cinema that tackles the devastating legacy of the Dirty War. It sheds light on the stories of those who disappeared during the military dictatorship and their families’ relentless search for truth and justice. Through its compelling narrative, brilliant performances, and powerful themes, the film has left an indelible mark on both Argentine society and the global cinematic landscape.

The film revolves around Alicia, a middle-class teacher, and her husband, Roberto, a government official. Their seemingly perfect life takes a drastic turn when Alicia begins to suspect that their adopted daughter may have been forcibly taken from a victim of the dictatorship. As Alicia delves deeper into the truth, she confronts her own complicity and the dark secrets that society has tried to bury.

The Official Story poignantly captures the personal and political consequences of living under a repressive regime. It portrays the moral dilemmas faced by individuals who must confront their own ignorance and privileged positions in order to seek justice for those who have been silenced. Through Alicia’s journey, the film explores themes of identity, complicity, and the power of confronting uncomfortable truths.

Director Luis Puenzo masterfully weaves together personal storytelling with a broader examination of Argentina’s collective guilt and the need for reparations. The film’s success and international recognition have propelled it into the ranks of cinematic classics, solidifying its place in history as a powerful exploration of truth, memory, and social responsibility.

The Official Story serves as a reminder that the consequences of past atrocities continue to reverberate in the present. It compels us to reflect on the importance of truth-telling, accountability, and the pursuit of justice in the face of human rights violations. As we watch Alicia’s struggle and journey of self-discovery, we are reminded of the imperative to confront our own pasts and make a commitment to creating a more just and inclusive society.

While The Official Story serves as a testament to Argentina’s tumultuous history, its message resonates far beyond its borders. It stands as a universal call for truth, justice, and compassion in the face of oppression and the enduring power of storytelling to provoke change. The film’s influence will continue to impact audiences around the world, challenging us to confront our own histories and contribute to a more equitable future.


In conclusion, “The Official Story” is a thought-provoking and impactful movie that sheds light on the dark period of Argentina’s history. By exploring the themes of identity, truth, and justice, the film serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of confronting painful truths and seeking justice for past atrocities. The exceptional performances, gripping storyline, and poignant direction make “The Official Story” a truly unforgettable cinematic experience.


Q: Is “The Official Story” based on a true story?

A: While “The Official Story” is a work of fiction, it is inspired by the actual events that took place during Argentina’s Dirty War.

Q: Is the film suitable for all audiences?

A: Due to its mature themes and depiction of violence, “The Official Story” is recommended for adult audiences.

Q: Has “The Official Story” won any awards?

A: Yes, the film received widespread critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Q: Can I watch “The Official Story” with English subtitles?

A: Yes, English subtitles are available for those who do not understand Spanish.

Q: Does “The Official Story” offer any historical context?

A: Yes, the movie provides valuable historical context about Argentina’s Dirty War and the impact it had on the lives of its people.

Q: Are there any other movies similar to “The Official Story”?

A: If you enjoyed “The Official Story,” you might also appreciate films like “Missing,” “No,” and “The Secret in Their Eyes,” which explore similar historical events and themes.

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