September 24, 2013 - 12:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired U.S. rights to the Lucia Puenzo-directed thriller The German Doctor, Deadline said.
The film screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes under the Argentinean title Wakolda.
SGF will release in the spring.
Pic is based on a novel by the director about the search for notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who hid in South America. Thriller focused on an Argentinean family that unwittingly puts their daughter under the care of the monster.
“Argentine novelist and filmmaker Lucia Puenzo has never been one to shy away from tricky subjects, beginning with the psychological study of a young hermaphrodite in her debut feature XXY.
Wakolda benefits from similarly subtle treatment of loaded material, in this case the fictional story of a family in Patagonia who discover they are hosting the infamous Nazi criminal Josef Mengele in their cozy hotel.
The doctor’s sinister interest in their 12-year-old daughter is as chilling as any horror film, but Puenzo puts it in the larger context of Argentina’s German community and how it sheltered war criminals, giving it more depth and greater interest for art house audiences. Still the story-telling is a little too pat to deliver the surprise moments that reveal character or sweep audiences up emotionally. The film remains a creepy story with a lot of morbid fascination, set off by the captivating young Florencia Bado in her first screen role.
The real-life Mengele, who fled responsibility for his experiments on human beings at Auschwitz, is said to have continued his cruel work on pregnant women and children in South America, before dying in Brazil in 1979. Puenzo plays on these historical facts to weave a highly believable tale around his stay in Argentina,” a review published in The Hollywood Reported said.