August 7, 2014 3:14 pm

Wakolda – film review

A mysterious German expat turns up in Patagonia in 1960 in Lucía Puenzo’s film

Àlex Brendemühl as the German doctor in 'Wakolda'

For its UK release, Wa kolda has sensibly shaken off the title it’s been lumbered with elsewhere – The German Doctor – but it still won’t take long to guess who the chilly expat is insinuating himself with an Argentine family in the Patagonia of 1960. As the former Josef Mengele latches on to their undersized 12-year-old daughter, director Lucía Puenzo gets slightly over-eager. For a man with a secret, the fugitive can barely discuss the weather without bringing up Übermenschen. But there are queasy nuances too, and if the film is better as understated horror than historical drama, its taut last seconds encompass both.

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