Australian Council on Children and the Media

Our Last Tango

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Short takes

Not recommended under 12 due to themes and lack of interest

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Our Last Tango
  • a review of Our Last Tango completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 April 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to themes and lack of interest (also in Spanish with subtitles)
Children aged 12 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Our Last Tango
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and infrequent coarse language
Length 81 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Our Last Tango is a documentary telling the story of Maria Nieves, who with her partner Juan Copes, became the most famous tango dancing couple in history. Maria is now 81 but she first met Juan when she was only 14 and immediately fell in love with him. Maria was passionate about, and devoted her life to, tango and to Juan. Juan, who was three years older than Maria, did not always return her devotion. Their relationship was both passionate and tumultuous. Juan admitted to seeing other women but Maria turned a blind eye to this until she discovered that Juan’s latest love was expecting a child. Juan went on to marry Miryam and had another child with her. This was devastating for Maria who had given up her hopes of having children to maintain her dancing relationship with Juan.

They separated for two years during which time Maria met another man but when Juan wanted to rekindle their dancing partnership, she returned to him and to tango. Maria and Juan continued their partnership for another 25 years until Miryam called an end to it.

Maria and Juan, now both in their eighties, come together one more time for their final tango performance.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Relationships; dance

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Nothing of concern

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Nothing of concern

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Nothing of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Maria talks about her impoverished childhood during which her mother would go through rubbish bins to find bones to cook into a stew.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

During a difficult time in their relationship, Juan was drinking heavily. Maria says she thinks he ‘sought death’. When asked about this however, Juan says he never contemplated committing suicide.

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Juan says that Maria belonged to him but he didn’t belong to her. He had ‘weaknesses and wouldn’t be a man’ if he didn’t.
  • Maria admits to having a passionate affair after Juan leaves her.
  • Maria says that when she was young it was taboo to have a child before marriage but this isn’t the case today.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some semi-nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Chorus girls are shown skimpily dressed and Maria says she was shocked and embarrassed when she first saw them.
  • Tango dancing is very passionate and sensual and the clothing is quite revealing.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Maria smokes throughout the film.
  • Juan drinks alcohol.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • One use of damn
  • “Fuck” is used on two occasions

In a nutshell

Our Last Tango is a documentary featuring beautifully shot choreography by young tango choreographers and dancers who play Maria and Juan in their youth. These young tango enthusiasts interview Maria and Juan to discover their story and the result is well-crafted into a fluid story of passion and dance. Lovers of tango will enjoy this movie, as will adolescents and adults with a love of dance. Because of the film’s themes, lack of interest for young children and the fact that it is in Spanish with subtitles, it is best suited to viewers aged 12 and over.

The main message from this movie is not to put off having a family for your career. Maria says at the start of the movie that given the chance she would do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing. However, she is lonely at 81 and she advises young women to have children and then continue their careers.

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