Buenos Aires is a beautiful cosmopolitan city and the capital of Argentina. Literally translating to fair winds, Buenos Aires is the heart and soul of Argentina mainly due to its rich culture (strongly influenced by European culture) that gave the capital its nickname as the Paris of South America. Known for its preserved Spanish-style architecture, Casa Rosada, Teatro Colón and many art galleries and museums, Buenos Aires is definitely a must-visit destination for all ages.
Furthermore, having a strong presence in the film industry, with its first film exhibition dating back in 1896, the Argentinian Capital made several large domestic productions in the 1930s-40s which is considered by many as the Golden Age of the Argentinian Cinema. In addition to the large number of domestic productions, Buenos Aires was used as the film canvas by dozens of foreign filmmakers. In this article, we are taking a look at 7 famous movies filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Find out which are the latest movies shot in Buenos Aires below.
1. Evita – 1996
Evita, one of the many movies filmed in Buenos Aires, is a biographical film about the life of Evita Duarte, an Argentinian actress who married the Argentinian president Juan Perón and became one of the most loved and hated women in Argentina. The film was based on the hit Broadway musical that followed the life of Evita, who from poverty became the most recognisable woman in Argentinian history. Evita was directed by Alan Parker and stars Madonna as Eva Perón (Evita), Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. When it comes to filming, Evita was filmed in several locations across Buenos Aires including Casa Roasda (the iconic Don’t Cry for me Argentina scene), Plaza de Mayo, the British Victorian Retiro Station and Pilar. Finally, Evita won an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score for the song “You Must Love Me” and also won 3 Golden Globes.
2. Seven Years in Tibet – 1997
Surprisingly, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s film about the friendship between Heinrich Harrer and the Dalai Lama, is one of the many movies filmed in Buenos Aires. This biographical film that tells the true story of an Austrian mountain climber (Pitt) who during the time of Tibet’s takeover by China, formed an unlikely friendship with the Dalai Lama ( played by Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk). When it comes to filming, Seven Years in Tibet was mostly filmed in Argentina which stood in for Tibet and China (some filming took place in Austria and Canada). Most of filming in Buenos Aires took place in La Plata (the main train station of La Plata was also used). Finally, in an interview, director Jean-Jacques Annaud revealed that a small crew secretly filmed in Tibet which accounts to almost 20 minutes of screen time.
3. Children of Men – 2006
One of the best films that self-reflects on human society, Children of Men, is also one of the many famous movies filmed in Buenos Aires. Directed by the talented Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men is set in 2027, in a world where for an unknown reason women have become infertile. During these chaotic times, a woman is found to be pregnant (Julianne Moore) and a former activist (Clive Owen) is tasked with safely transporting her to a sea sanctuary. Furthermore, when it comes to filming, Children of Men was shot in the UK, Uruguay and of course Argentina. Filming locations in Buenos Aires include the Obelisk of Buenos Aires as well as Puerto Madero. Finally, Julianne Moore and Clive Owen are surrounded by a talented cast which includes Michael Caine, Charlie Hunnam and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
4. The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos) – 2009
Undoubtedly one of the best films of the 21st century, The Secret in Their Eyes is a joint Argentinian-Spanish production directed by Juan José Campanella. The crime-drama, based on the successful novel “La pregunta de sus ojos”, tells the story of a retired judiciary employee who in his hope of finding closure on one of his unresolved cases about a murder decides to write a novel. The Secret in Their Eyes is a captivating film and one of the many movies filmed in Argentina (entirely). Some of the filming locations in Buenos Aires include Estación Retiro (Retiro Station), the Palace of Justice, the Tomás Adolfo Ducó Stadium and Chivilcoy. Finally, The Secret in Their Eyes won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year in 2010.
5. Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) – 2014
Wild Tales, one of the most famous Argentinian films, is a comedic take comprised by six short segments on how far people are willing to go under severe distress. The Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year (2015) was directed by Damián Szifron and features an ensemble of talented Argentinian actors including María Marull and Darío Grandinetti. This comedic film was shot in several locations across Buenos Aires including San Isidro, Juncal, Cordoba Avenue and the InterContinental hotel. In addition to its Oscar nomination, Wild Tales also won the BAFTA award for Best Film not in the English Language.
6. Focus – 2015
One of the latest movies filmed in Buenos Aires, Focus is a crime film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie. The film tells the story of an experienced con man named Nicky (Smith) who becomes the mentor of an inexperienced yet talented con artist named Jess (Robbie). After the two of them part ways, Jess shows up years later during one of Nicky’s cons and messes with his plans. Moreover, a large part of the film takes place in Buenos Aires in several neighbourhoods including San Telmo, Puerto Madero, Barracas, Retiro and also a few scenes in Ezeiza Airport. Finally, Focus was a box-office success, managing to gather $160 million worldwide on a $50 million budget.
7. The Colony (Colonia) – 2015
The Colony is a 2015 drama-thriller directed by Florian Gallenberger and starring Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl. One of the many movies filmed in Buenos Aires, The Colony is set in Chile during the military coup of 1973 and follows a young woman’s (Watson) desperate attempts to find her boyfriend who has been abducted by Pinochet’s secret police and is somewhere in Colonia Dignidad. The film was shot in several countries including Luxembourg, Chile, Germany and Argentina (the San Telmo neighbourhood in Buenos Aires – the oldest neighbourhood in Buenos Aires). Despite the film’s intriguing history and a great director, Colonia only had a limited release in the US.
Special Mention – Movies Shot in Buenos Aires
In addition to our list of the 7 famous movies filmed in Buenos Aires, we decided to also include a special mention of movies that were either briefly filmed in Buenos Aires or aren’t considered as famous as our Top 7.
Highlander II: The Quickening – 1991
The failed attempt to a cult favourite Highlander sequel was a spectacular failure. However, what many people don’t know is that the second Highlander instalment was filmed in Buenos Aires and in San Juan, Argentina.
Mars Attacks! – 1996
This hilarious 1996 comedy about a Martian invasion starring Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker features a scene in Buenos Aires.
The Fall – 2006
This cinematography masterpiece as seen in various of our lists was filmed in several countries all over the world including Argentina ( The Buenos Aires Botanical Garden).
Enjoyed this article? Why not take a look at our list of 10 Famous Movies Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa?