So there he is at the table, their brand-new adopted child. Suspicious look, messy hair. Joel is nine – older than Cecilia and Diego had expected. He doesn’t say much more than ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Building a new family life apparently involves a lot of trial and error. A bigger problem is that Joel does talk at school, where he boasts about leading a gangster lifestyle and taking cocaine. The other parents protest about the bad influence he is having on their children.
All of which makes Joel more than a beautiful adoption drama with great acting. Argentine film veteran Carlos Sorín investigates how it is to live with an outsider. When should you sacrifice your own interests for those of another? The action takes place in a small town in Patagonia – where blankets of snow and friendly manners cover up mistrust and hypocrisy. In the meantime Joel Noguera, the boy who plays Joel, steals our hearts. Sorín found him at a bus station.