Under the cloud of a military dictatorship, a young mother and her daughter flee Buenos Aires for the seclusion of a ramshackle cottage along the windy dunes of an Argentine beach. As her mother listens for news from the radio with sad stoicism, restlessly curious seven-year-old Cecilia joins a nearby school overseen by a kindly teacher. A childhood idyll, however, soon becomes contaminated by the general political crisis, as the teacher recruits the class for a patriotic essay contest sponsored by the army—the very people that may have already disappeared Cecilia’s father—in this superbly acted and engrossingly atmospheric drama about innocence in illicit times.
Paula Markovitch was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968. She has taught screenwriting at the Center of Cinematographic Capacitation (CCC) and is writer and director of the short films Perriférico and Ambulance Music. She has also served as an adviser for the Fundación Toscano-Sundance Lab, the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE) and the National Fund for the Arts and Culture (FONCA). The Prize is her first feature film.
director: Paula Markovitch
Cinematography: Wojciech Staroń
country and year of production: Frnacja / Meksyk / Niemcy / Polska, 2011