The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar review: Iconic retelling of a sensational crime

The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar (2022) explores the murder of photojournalist José Luis Cabezas, a crime that revealed a political and financial conspiracy and shocked the entire country of Argentina. It is currently streaming on Netflix.

Story

‘The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar’ is a documentary film made in Argentina, produced by Vanessa Ragone and directed by Alejandro Hartmann.

The unfortunate journalist, José Luis, was last seen alive on the 24th of January 1997. And following concerns from his friend, it later becomes apparent that Jose had been shot in the head and then handcuffed in a car that was then set on fire.

Despite initial claims that his death was an accident, his family and journalist friends were adamant that justice would be served.

The crime against the photographer José Luis Cabezas, in the summer of 1997, shocked Argentina and ended up revealing a mafia network in which major political and economic powers were connected.

The consequences were almost as dramatic as the crime itself, both for its instigator and for the entire country.

Positives

The documentary film is gripping, intense and at times even disturbing to the right extent, making it worth the while especially for viewers who take interest in modern history.

There are a couple of nice stylistic cues to accentuate certain elements of the case, using the technique of photographic processing.

The film heavily relies on footage from the time, which helps portray the mood and feel of those involved in the case back in the 90’s.

It is clear that the filmmaker has gone to great lengths in order to narrate the story in an unbiased fashion.

Negatives

Most of the film is shot with archival footage from the time period, overlaid with narration and laced with talking head interviews. This style is a very straightforward documentary.

The film is a bit overlong, given its style of narration and at times gets carried away with less important details of the case.

Verdict

‘The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar’ — originally, ‘El Fotógrafo y el Cartero: El Crimen de Cabezas’ — is another sobering reality check that corruption is very much a part of our society. On a streaming site that is full of true crime documentaries, this one definitely stands out. And whilst it could have done with twenty minutes less runtime, it’s well worth a watch as it is a startling case that will horrify the viewers.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar on Netflix explained