“A Red Bear” the title of this film is simple enough.
IMDB summarizes it as, “Bear (the main character) has never gotten over the separation from his wife and daughter after having been convicted for armed robbery and homicide and sent to prison. Now he is out, to finally get his cut of the money and reunite with his family, or at least avenge the damage done.” And this synopsis is not wrong, but this movie entails so much more than a man full of vengeance, it is an exposition of daily life in Argentina.
I first saw this movie in a cultural film class while studying in Argentina. And I loved it! It shows the basic elements of Argentinian life. The story focuses on el Oso, the main character who tries to recover his family life after going to prison for a bank robbery. After being released, his objective is to get his cut from the botched job from ‘mob’ boss, Turco, and return to his wife and daughter. However, when he shows up at his home he sees that his wife has a new man in his life (one who can’t find a job and spends his days at the horse races). Concerned for this wife and daughter’s welfare, he demands money from Turco, only to discover he must help with another robbery to receive his cut. Only this time, after the job his cohorts have been instructed to kill him. El Oso however, turns the tables, saves his life and his money, gives the money to his family and leaves, realizing he can’t be around without putting them in danger.
All that being said, the basic elements of Argentinian life are profoundly noticeable–i.e. the daughter Alicia offering mate to her father, the school students dutifully and enthusiastically singing their national anthem (all dressed in white overcoats), the liter bottles of beer and simplicity of the corner bar (Turco’s ‘hang-out’). It’s a beautiful demonstration of a struggle against corruption and the desire of a father to return to a simple life with his family.
Anyway, as you may guess, I love this movie! Watching it the other day made we want to go back to Argentina very badly! So, if you’re interested, I hope you take a look and maybe you can learn a thing or two about the Argentinian culture!