Culture

Law in the Family

Daniel Hendler and Arturo Goetz talk law

Beginning tonight at 9:00 at the Bill Cosford Cinema, University of Miami will screen Family Law (Derecho De La Familia), Argentina's official selection for Foreign Language Film at the 2007 Academy Awards.

Although the film -- broadcast in Spanish with English subtitles -- didn't receive an Oscar nod, Argentina's Film Arts and Sciences Academy decided it outclassed the country's 58 other hopefuls and was a worthy official entry.

We agree.

The film (run time 102 minutes) offers a beguiling and blessedly relaxed comic portrayal of a thirty-something law professor named Ariel Perelman (Daniel Hendler). After marrying and fathering his first child, the young teacher begins to reassess his relationship with his father. The elder Perelman is a larger than life, charismatic lawyer who plies his trade with all the moxie and style the self-effacing Ariel lacks.

The feel-good film is funny, while offering a more mature, deceptively simple exploration of how to live.

Filmmaker Daniel Burman does not overtly address any sweeping themes, nor does he cast Latin movie stars such as Gael Garcia Bernal or Penelope Cruz. What he does do, and well, is tell intimate stories of ordinary people, blending life, love, and loss with a strong dose of humor. --Joanne Green

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Frank Houston