White Elephant

Synopsis: The "Villa Virgin", a shantytown in the slums of Buenos Aires. Julian and Nicolas, two priests and long-standing friends, work tirelessly to help the local people. Julian uses his political connections to oversee the construction of a hospital. Nicolas joins him following the failure of a project he was leading in the jungle, after paramilitary forces assassinated members of the community. Deeply troubled, he finds a little comfort in Luciana, a young, attractive, atheist social worker. As Nicolas' faith weakens, tension and violence between the slum drug dealing cartels grow. And when work on the hospital is halted by ministerial decree, the fuse is lit...
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Pablo Trapero
Production: Strand Releasing
  6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

Stay together!

Don't spread out!

Shine a light over there.

- I think he is there.

- Where?

Move forward.


Be careful!

Tell me where he is! Where is he?

Where is he? Tell me!

Tell me!

Where is he?

Fucking shit!

Where the f*ck is The European?

Check the back!

Bring the people here!

Tell me!

You! Move, fucking shit!

Come on! All of you! Get down!


- Check the houses!

- Don't kill us!

You! Damn it!

Check every damn place!

Quechua speaking.


C'est moi.

Two days here and you'll get him

out of the hospital.

- Ok, thank you.

- He'll be alright.

Thank you.

Quechua speaking.

Thank you, Julin.

Thank you.


It's so big.

How many people live at the slum?

It's hard to know.

At least officially.

Besides, this is not even

in the maps.

We tally during baptisms

for an estimate.

Between kids, godparents and family

it's around fifteen thousand.

The whole slum probably doubles that.

- Thirty thousand?

- Yes.

This was meant to be a hospital.

Three hundred families live here now.

Plus us among them.

The original project

dates back to 1937.

Created by a socialist,

Alfredo Palacios.

It was approved by the Congress.

What happened?

Construction was stopped...

and reinitiated almost 20 years later

during Peron's term.

Then it was stopped again,

after the coup in 1955.

It was going to be the biggest

hospital in Latin America.

Now they call it "White elephant".

Good morning!

This is Father Nicolas.

- Good morning, Father.

- Hello.

- Anything to drink? Tea?

- No thanks.

I want to show you the site then...

- Julin! Come!

- Hold on.

- Sure.

- What is it?

- I'll be there later...

- What is it?

- They need help at the kitchen...

- Stay with Nicolas.

Okay. Bring the buckets.

Hi Nicolas.

My name is Lisandro.

- Welcome. Let's go to the chape.

- Thanks. Sure.

- Need any help?

- Sure.

- Did you rest?

- Yes.

We are proud to have you here.

Julin told us all about

your work at Amazonas.

Come back later...

- Hello Luciana.

- Hello.

- How are you doing?

- Fine. You?

- This is Nicolas...

- Yes. I've met him. Feeling better?


- We have water in the chapel.

- Are you coming?

In a minute.

You better wear your collar

or people will not recognize you.

A couple of weeks ago

they put a gun to the head

of one of the kids

volunteering for school tutoring.

They thought he was with the cops.

It's the first time

anyone's told me I look like a cop.

- Hi there!

- Hi.

- Hold this.

- Sure!

- Morning!

- Hey there.

Come to the baptism, girls...

It's next week.

- Thanks.

- It's really damp.

It takes five days to dry.

- Roberto...

- Hello. Everything okay?


How are you doing, Irma?

- Bring your kid to the baptism.

- Okay...

- Good morning.

- Hey guys! Here are some flyers...

Spread the word.

Next week. On Thursday.

Good morning. Hey there!

Let's keep going.

- Did you get any water in here?

- It's so muddy!

- How is your leg?

- Better.

I'm glad. Careful where you step.

- Julin...

- What?

There are sixteen

on the list already.


- Seven more with no ID.

- Did you talk to Luciana?

I told her. She will look into it.

- Good morning!

- I guess we'll be okay...

- Good morning.

- Good morning.

That's a lot of water!

Let's see what we can do.

- Is this it?

- Yes.

This is our chapel.

- Julin...

- Hello!

- Good morning.

- Hi there, Cruz! This is Cruz.

- This is Nicolas.

- The foreign father!

- Everyone's talking about you.

- Father Nicolas.

Cruz gives us a hand

with the workshops

and pretty much anything else he can!

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    "White Elephant" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Jan. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/white_elephant_7556>.

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