During Argentina's "Dirty War" of the 1970s, thousands of activists, intelligentsia, and other political prisoners were abducted and never heard from again. The children of these "Desaparecidos" were "reassigned" to families supporting the dictatorship. When typical Buenos Aires teen Cristina (Lombardo) is informed by a judge that DNA testing has confirmed she is one of these reassigned children, her world is turned upside down. With the support of a friend in the same position, Cristina bravely confronts her adoptive parents and goes in search of her identity.
Director Biraben's highly personal approach sheds light on the painful fact that the plight of "The Disappeared" continues to have ramifications even after the events themselves have become a distant memory. Though he skillfully recreates scenes from the past, his choice to set "Cautiva" firmly in the present gives the film a stinging relevance, elevating it above conventional historical drama. As a teenager experiencing complex, shattering emotions, Lombardo is utterly convincing, imbuing the role with an intensity rarely seen in an actress so young. Don't let those who were abducted disappear from our memories — see this smart, moving drama.