The other night I saw the movie Esperando La Carroza (Waiting for the Hearse) after my friends at work told me that as a classic Argentine film representing the quintessential Argentine family, I had to see it. I was warned ahead of time that I probably wouldn’t understand parts of it, not just for the language but also for subtle cultural references. The movie is from 1985 and the version I had came with no subtitles, but except for a few parts I was able to keep up with the entire film.
Basically the script follows a dysfunctional (or typical?) family on a Sunday when they are supposed to have a family lunch. Instead, the grandmother, Mamá Cora ruins the mayonnaise, leading to a series of events in which brothers, sisters-in-law, and neighbors are at each others throats. This comedy, while dated, is still considered relevant today and is noted as a stand out in Argentine cinema. I find it interesting because watching it I could see similarities to my own family. Though only one side is Argentinian and the deep roots have long since been forgotten, I can relate to the old man sitting in a comfortable chair right next to the phone, yelling for the wife to answer it rather than picking up. Or the teenage daughter yelling for her mom at the top of her lungs rather than going to find her. Or the immediate change of events from being yelled at to making someone feel guilty and having the power struggle.
If you want to learn a little bit about Argentinian culture check this film out, but maybe it’d be better to look for a version with subtitles. Otherwise you could be lost.