Discover Now: Pablo Trapero

With our full Pablo Trapero collection now available on Curzon Home Cinema, it seems only fitting that this highly film-maker be the focus for the launch of our new retrospective digital series - Discover Now.

For part 2 we shine the lens on the multi award-winning LION’S DEN (LEONERA).



Cannes International Film Festival

Palm Springs International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival

London Film Festival

LION’S DEN (LEONERA) is in the spotlight for the second part of our Discover Now series on Pablo Trapero.

A remarkable study of motherhood in the most extreme circumstances LION’S DEN tells the story of Julia (Martina Gusman in a spellbinding performance) who wakes up one morning to find herself covered in blood and surrounded by the bodies of two men, one of whom is dead. Charged with murder and pregnant with one of the men's children, Julia is sent to the maternal wing of a tough prison. With her boyfriend Ramiro (played by the brilliant Rodrigo Santoro) claiming his innocence and her absent mother suddenly reappearing in her life, Julia soon realises that there are greater dangers for her outside the prison's walls as she copes with pregnancy, birth and the pressures of rearing a child whilst incarcerated for a crime she cannot remember committing. Women are allowed to keep their child in the prison until they are four years of age. But with pressure from her previously absent mother, Julia suddenly faces life without her beloved son. Left with no choice, she has to find a way to ensure that she and Tomás will never be separated.

Watch the trailer here

Production Notes:


LION’S DEN was shot in the province of Buenos Aires between September and December 2007. In an unprecedented event in Argentinean film-making, most of the film was filmed inside maximum security prisons, with real inmates as extras.

Some of the roles of guards, matrons and keepers were played by real staff of the Bonaerense Penitentiary System.

The set was brought behind bars and the whole cast and crew coexisted with the penitentiary system for most of the production.

To obtain the permits to work in these places and with these actors often seemed more the task of a court than that of a film. Legal authorizations, stamps, files, signatures from a wide variety of authorities were required.

Special thanks to those locations and their people, inmates and staff:

Unidad Penitenciaria Number 1 de Lisandro Olmos
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 8 de los Hornos
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 18 de Gorina
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 33 de Los Hornos
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 46 de San Martín
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 47 de San Martín
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 48 de San Martín
Unidad Penitenciaria Number 51 de Magdalena

Read Pablo Trapero's statement on the making of the film below and be sure to stop by again soon when we turn our attention to CARANCHO and WHITE ELEPHANT. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for some specially selected content from the films and stay tuned for your chance to win a wonderful Pablo Trapero prize!

Have a favourite from our Pablo Trapero collection? We’d love to hear - get in touch with us on social media using #DiscoverNow.

Pablo Trapero on LION'S DEN


"“Look Daddy, they’re pink” said Mateo when he was four years old. I took my eyes from the highway and found these enormous concrete blocks, prison units. One of them was indeed, coloured.

Those words from my kid on the chromatic detail of the walls, were the germ for LION’S DEN (LEONERA). Units that house mothers with children.

Children who lost their freedom for being close to their mothers.

Mothers those who would do anything for their children’s welfare even when confinement conspires against that elementary right.

Everything became hard to understand. It’s tough to find direct answers to these absurd questions.

While researching we discovered that this reality is the product of a known and repeated scheme through penitentiary systems in many countries.

The strange thing is that few agree on the maximum age for a child to grow up in prison. Some understand it’s a year and a half, nursing, others, until they are six years old. In Argentina it’s until they are four. New contradictions but one certainty, societies turn their backs on this situation, very few dare to raise their voices defending one position over the other. It’s tough to see children in jail and it’s even tougher to legislate for these innocent kids.

Despair against confinement can be endured if, for at least a few seconds, a feeling of hope or solidarity crosses the day. From these brief instants are born stories that light those lives. Wall and bars lose their density and prison keepers become babysitters.

For all this, LION’S DEN (LEONERA), intends to build, not only a cinematographic tale but room for debate and reflection.

Motherhood, solitude, love, confinement and hope are the axes on this film."

LION’S DEN, BORN AND BRED, CARANCHO and WHITE ELEPHANT are all available on Curzon Home Cinema and on DVD through our online store as well as all good retailers. Titles from the collection are also available through Amazon UK, iTunes and Vimeo. Click the film tabs for further details.

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