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‘Showroom’

Director Fernando Molnar


This humorous feature from Argentina portrays middle-aged Diego, who must leave his chosen career as an event planner to sell high-rise condos in Buenos Aires for his uncle, who also lends Diego’s family a home on the city’s outer, jungle-y reaches. As his initially disgruntled wife and daughter grow to like the new place, Diego gets caught in the sales hunt.

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Why did you decide to explore these characters and this story?

My films and their universes do not arise from a single side. This is a mixture of personal and family situations, and from my observations developing documentaries over the last 15 years. This is a comfortable middle class family that, during the economic crisis, had to change their city and leave the customs of that class. Diego’s plans to regain the status and return to live in the capital are very funny and decadent.

Regarding the real estate universe, I could never understand how thousands of people prefer to live in very little places but full of amenities. The marketing of “quality of life” is an issue that catches my attention. The management of human sensibility is very delicate.

Is there a strong push and pull between city and suburban life in Buenos Aires?

The dichotomy between life in the city and suburban life closer to nature is a universal theme that not only happens in Argentina. I’d rather live in the city and be able to escape to a more peaceful place, and not have it be necessary to dress up.

Do you have personal experience with those types of apartments or housing complexes?

Some years ago, I was looking for an apartment to move in to with my family, and the bids were ridiculous, especially for places that were very miniscule but full of amenities. Lot of Argentines prefer to live in just a few meters but in a fashionable area. Others prefer a different lifestyle.

Diego hangs out every day with a group of friends and family, sipping coffee and mate. Is that a common daily activity for most Buenos Aires men? It seems that coffee shop time is dwindling in today’s fast-paced world.

Having a coffee in the middle of the day is a habit not only of men but of all Argentines. But Diego and his friends are a select few that do not meet in their work schedules, so they can do it whenever they want. It is also an excuse to talk and try to close some business.

Is there a lot of people who get caught up in the family business in Buenos Aires? Is that frowned upon or respected?

In Argentina, as in other countries, there are family businesses that survive for generations. Many other families went bankrupt and could not continue the legacy. Some family businesses are well respected, but not all. There are cases of family businesses that let all employees go onto the street without work and yet these families are still millionaires.



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