Sundance 2016 Review: 'Jacqueline (Argentine)' Is a Strangely Disjointed Film That Somehow Remains Captivating
Some of the most intriguing films are mysteries. You’re not sure what you’re looking at until the final frame, and sometimes, even then, you’re left questioning what you’ve just seen with your own two eyes. Bernardo Britto’s mockumentary “Jacqueline (Argentine)” left me with this particular feeling. So full of twist and turns, it’s a film that is as fascinating as it is exasperating. Britto was inspired by Laura Poitras’ Academy Award winning documentary “Citizenfour”, about NSA spy Eric Snowden. However, “Jacqueline (Argentine)” is something else entirely.
The film follows an unnamed struggling film director (played by Wyatt Cenac) who, while house-sitting for a friend in Miami, receives a strange and rather troubling voicemail. In the message, a source claims to have stumbled upon some French national security secrets. Without much more information, and mostly out of boredom, the director grabs his cameraman and sound guy and hightails it to Argentina where the source has gone to seek refuge.
Upon arriving in Argentina, things quickly start off on the wrong foot. The airline has lost the crew’s camera equipment, and we soon learn that the source is actually a young French woman by the name of Jacqueline Dumont (played wonderfully by Camille Rutherford). Jacqueline has run off to Argentina after discovering a plot to assassinate a mid-level Arab politician. According to Jacqueline, this no-name politician’s death will have irreparable repercussions for countries across the globe. The death does actually occur, even though no reporter seems to take Jacqueline’s claims seriously. However, things don’t happen exactly how this captivating woman says they are going to.
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Image: Jacqueline (Argentine)