Laura and her son Mati flee an abusive husband through a constantly shifting environment.
‘Refugiado’, the latest offering from multi-award winning Argentine filmmaker Diego Lerman, is the tense story of a mother (Laura) and son (Matias) fleeing an abusive husband. Dark and suspenseful, it frames much of the action from Matias’ perspective.
Coming home from a friend’s birthday party, 7-year-old Matias finds his mum lying in a pile of broken glass in the kitchen. Stoic beyond his few years, Mati accompanies his mother to the hospital before being taken with her to a women’s refuge. Mati and Laura now live on the run, constantly hounded by menacing phonecalls from the husband, and they must find the strength within themselves to try and start anew.
Polish cinematographer Wojciech Staron does a superb job of setting up the atmosphere for the nail-biting chase between Laura and her husband. ‘Refugiado’ is a darkly, meaningfully shot film, the looming foregrounds and deep shadows dwarfing little Mati as he struggles to understand the constant merry-go-round of new environments. Mati is also, of course, unbelievably cute, and excellently played by Sebastián Molinaro, matching the incredible performance given by Julieta Díaz in the challenging role of Laura.