the-secret-in-their-eyes-apr-19thBenjamín Esposito, a retired Buenos Aries justice officer, is writing a novel about an unsolved case, 25 years previously, which continues to haunt him. In the Morales case, a beautiful young woman was raped and murdered. His investigations bring him back into contact with his boss, Irene Menéndez-Hastings, for whom – despite their age difference – he has feelings. “The film takes the elements of the conventional murder mystery and then spins round them a story that is both lyrical and heavy on pathos” – Geoffrey Macnab, Independent on Sunday. (Cert 18)
Dir: Juan José Campanella 104 mins Argentina 2009

Programme Notes

The Secret In Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos)
Argentina 2009 124 minutes Cert. 18

Recently retired criminal court investigator Benjamín (Ricardo Darín) decides to write a novel based on a twenty-five-year-old unresolved rape and murder case, which still haunts him. Sharing his plans with Irene (Soledad Villamil), the beautiful judge and former colleague he has secretly been in love with for years, Benjamín’s initial involvement with the case is shown through flashbacks, as he sets out to identify the murderer. But Benjamín’s search for the truth will put him at the centre of a judicial nightmare, as the mystery of the heinous crime continues to unfold in the present, testing the limits of a man seeking justice and personal fulfilment at last.

Thus commences an absorbing back and forth journey through time, between Buenos Aires in 1974 and 2000, which reopens both the crime and the unacknowledged feeling that has remained all these years between Irene and Benjamin.

Benjamín Esposito – Ricardo Darín
Irene Menéndez Hastings – Soledad Villamil Campanella
Pablo Sandoval – Guillermo Francella
Ricardo Morales – Pablo Rago
Isidoro Gómez – Javier Godino
Liliana Coloto – Carla Quevedo

Director – Juan José Campanella
Screenplay – Eduardo Sacheri, Juan José based on novel by Eduardo Sacheri
Cinematography – Félix Monti
Original Music – Federico Jusid, Emilio Kauderer
Producers – Mariela Besuievski, Juan José Campanella, Carolina Urbieta

“Juan Jose Campanella is the writer-director, and here is a man who creates a complete, engrossing, lovingly crafted film. He is filled with his stories. The Secret in Their Eyes is a rebuke to formula screenplays. We grow to know the characters, and the story pays due respect to their complexities and needs. There is always the sense that they exist in the now and not at some point along a predetermined continuum.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Don’t be put off. This spellbinder from Argentina will sneak up and floor you. It’s that good.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“A supremely watchable, well-made and well-acted movie with a dark, sinewy sense of history: a tremendously slick thriller from a director who has worked on American TV shows such as Law and Order and House.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian




“Superbly structured – enthralling”

“A perfect political thriller. It laid bare the workings of a totalitarian regime and showed what happens at an individual and societal level when justice is denied. Brilliantly scripted, shot and acted – this [film] is A MASTERPIECE !!”

“Everything one could wish for in a narrative noir. Particularly skilful in the way it blended politics, crime, intrigue and emotion in a seamless and plausible fashion. Brilliant shooting captured the authentic atmosphere of 1974 and 2000. This would get into my all-time top ten!”

“Absolutely brilliant! Hitchcockian twists right to the end, as in Nine Queens and L’Aura – with the same principal actor.”

“Brilliant – an amazing study of complicated relationships. What wonderful faces!”

“B for the film but E for the face make-up!”

“Impressive acting and photography. Plot slightly unbelievable at the end (but still) very much worth seeing.”

“A powerful love story and gripping throughout, if away with the fairies at times!”

“Cleverly woven strands and themes which held one’s interest throughout.”

“Slow-moving but excellent. Great twists at the end.”

“An amazing ending!”

“Nicely done”

“Very atmospheric – the flashback sequences worked very well.”

“Very interesting from start to finish, though a very unlikely tale in many ways. I would definitely see it again. Was there a twist where the flashback at the end seemed to show the husband?”

“The lack of cliché in the plot was very refreshing, after so many Hollywood – and some British – movies.”

“Very good but only believable because it was set in Argentina!”

“Nearly a great film”

“Romantic and gruesome!”

“Good – but too long!”

“Cars by Peugeot!”


A:32, B:8, C:2, D:0, E:0 to give 93%