- 2 hr 2 min
Missing is a political drama film directed by Costa-Gavras, released in 1982. The movie is based on the book, The Execution of Charles Horman, written by Thomas Hauser. The film tells the story of a father and wife's search for their son and husband, who disappeared during the American-backed military coup of Chile in 1973. The film stars Jack Lemmon as Ed Horman, a conservative businessman from New York City, whose son, Charles (played by John Shea), is living in Chile with his wife, Beth (played by Sissy Spacek). The story is set during the period of Marxist President Salvador Allende's government, ending with the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet, which forced Allende out of power. The movie begins with Ed Horman's visit to the US Embassy in Chile, where he inquires about his son's whereabouts. He is told that Charles is not on the embassy's records, and the embassy staff is unwilling to assist him. Ed's confusion and frustration soon turn into panic when he learns about the political situation in the country, and the fact that many people disappeared during the coup. Despite warnings from American officials to leave the country, Ed and Beth decide to stay in Chile and search for Charles. They are aided by Terry Simon (played by Melanie Mayron), a journalist and Charles's close friend. The search for Charles takes the trio to various places, where they encounter the brutality and suppression of the military regime. The movie portrays the state of terror and chaos that prevailed in Chile during that time, with scenes of torture and violence that are disturbing and haunting. Throughout the movie, the audience sees the emotional and psychological toll the search takes on Ed, Beth, and Terry. As the search proceeds, they uncover the involvement of the US government in the coup and their complicity in the disappearance of Charles. The film is a powerful commentary on American foreign policy in Latin American countries during the Cold War era. It highlights the ruthless nature of the US government's involvement in the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Latin America and the human rights violations that occurred as a result. Missing was praised for its powerful performances by the lead actors, the direction, and its political message. It won the Palme d'Or at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Jack Lemmon, and Best Actress for Sissy Spacek. In summary, Missing is a gripping and emotionally charged political drama that sheds light on a dark period in Latin American history. The movie is not recommended for viewers looking for light entertainment, but it is an essential watch for those interested in political history and human rights issues.