Crane World

Crane World

Italian theatrical release poster
Directed by Pablo Trapero
Produced by Lita Stantic
Pablo Trapero
Written by Pablo Trapero
Starring Luis Margani
Adriana Aizemberg
Daniel Valenzuela
Music by Francisco Canaro
Cinematography Cobi Migliora
Edited by Nicolás Goldbart
Distributed by Cinema Tropical
Lita Stantic Producciones
Release dates
  • June 17, 1999 (1999-06-17) (Argentina)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

Crane World (Spanish: Mundo grúa) is an 1999 Argentine film, written and directed by Pablo Trapero. The film was produced by Lita Stantic and Pablo Trapero. It features Luis Margani, Adriana Aizemberg, Daniel Valenzuela, among others.[1]

The movie was partly funded by Argentina's INCAA.

The picture is about working class life in Argentina that's gritty (filmed in sepia, black and white). The film follows the fortunes in the life of Rulo, an unemployed suburban man, who tries to earn a living as a crane operator in Buenos Aires.


The film tells of Rulo (Luis Margani), a moderately successful musician in the 1970s.

Today he's divorced and an unemployed forty-something day-laborer living in Buenos Aires in the late 1990s. He's anxious for whatever work he can find. He lives with his son who's also musically inclined, and his mother (Graciana Chironi).

His best friend Torres (Daniel Valenzuela), who has connections in the Argentine construction industry, finds him work as a large crane operator.

Rulo is dating Adriana (Adriana Aizemberg), who runs a sandwich shop.

He lands a job as an excavating machine operator in distant Patagonia. The workers live in a remote farmhouse and the relationship between management and labor is difficult.

One day the workers are not fed during lunch so they refuse to work until they eat. Rulo soon discovers that making a fresh start at a late age proves to be harder than he first thought.





Pablo Trapero, in neo-realist fashion, used extras and bit players when he filmed.


The film opened in Argentina on June 17, 1999. Later it was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 17, 1999.

The picture was screened at various film festivals, including: the Sundance Film Festival, Colorado, United States; the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; the Fribourg Film Festival, Switzerland; the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Argentina; the New Directors/New Films Festival, New York City; and others.

Critical reception

Film critic Stephen Holden, film critic for The New York Times, liked the look and tone of the film and wrote, "[the picture] is a stylistic throwback to 1940s Italian neo-realism. The movie's grainy, sepia-toned cinematography and low-key naturalistic performances by a cast of nonprofessionals enhance its slice-of-life authenticity."[2]

Film critic Diego Lerer, a member of FIPRESCI, wrote an extensive essay about director Pablo Trapero's cinema films. He reviewed Mundo grúa favorably and believes Trapero's film is advancing the "New Argentina Cinema Wave" and his films continues to break away from the older Argentine storytelling. He wrote, "Trapero's film dared to break even freer from the classic narrative models. Even though the film has a story, and one that advances with utter efficiency, Crane World respects the characters' internal rhythm like none of the other films by young Argentines had done so far...In Trapero's film, the scenes are developed in all their length."[3]





  1. Mundo grúa at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. Holden, Stephen. The New York Times, "An Unemployed Guy Who Won't Follow Doctor's Orders," April 3, 2000.
  3. Lerer, Lerer. FIPRESCI, "Cinemas of the South: Pablo Trapero: Family Pictures," 2006.
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