Berlinale

Lion's Den (Leonera)

Synopsis
Julia wakes up in her apartment, next to the bloody bodies of Ramiro and Nahuel. Ramiro is still alive; Nahuel is dead. Both have been, secretly and simultaneously, her lovers and one is the father of her unborn child.
Julia is sent to a prison housing mothers and pregnant inmates. Two characters enter her life. One is Marta, a fellow inmate who becomes Julia’s guide and counsellor; the other is Sofia, Julia’s mother, an ambiguous character who Julia encounters again after many years. Sofia attempts to repair the mistakes of the past; she gets Julia a good lawyer, sends her baby clothes, and slowly re-establishes their relationship.
The legal case involving the death of Nahuel has two possible guilty parties: Julia and Ramiro, both in prison in different penitentiaries. Their testimonies are contradictory, one incriminating the other. Julia gives birth to Tomas. She understands that the only thing that matters to her is this new being that accompanies her now. Julia decides to visit Ramiro. The events of the night of the crime remain muddled for both, just as their feelings towards each other. In the trial, Ramiro’s testimony will prove crucial in determining Julia’s sentence.
Her friend Marta becomes her ally while her mother Sofia becomes her opponent. Marta attempts to teach her how be a mother to her child in the least appropriate place, Sofia wishes to take over the child’s upbringing, so that he can grow up outside prison, in freedom. The duel between Julia and Sofia expresses the dilemma of what is better for the child, to be brought up in prison next to his mother or without her, but in freedom. After several years in prison, Julia, grown accustomed to the prison environment, has become hard, a woman who must struggle to recover her freedom and that of her son.


World premiere
Cannes International Film Festival 2008, Competition

Theatrical release in Germany
June 4, 2009

Awards
Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Elcine First Prize (Best Film), Lima Latin American Film Festival 2008
Best Art Direction, Special Jury Prize, Havana Film Festival 2008
Festivals Cannes International Film Festival 2008
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2008
Lima Latin American Film Festival 2008
Toronto International Film Festival 2008
Helsinki International Film Festival 2008
Reykjavik International Film Festival 2008
Havana Film Festival 2008

Rights sold to
Argentina, Spain, Brazil, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Poland

Argentina 2008
Director: Pablo Trapero
Producers: Matanza Cine (Argentina)
German Distributor: MFA + FilmDistribution e.K.
World sales: Finecut Co., Ltd. (Korea)

Funded in WCF jury session in December 2008
Funding amount: 10,000 €