Buenos Aires, 1971. Carlitos is a seventeen-year-old youth with movie star swagger, blond curls and a baby face. As a young boy, he coveted other people’s things, but it wasn’t until his early adolescence that his true calling - to be a thief - manifested itself. When he meets Ramon at his new school, Carlitos is immediately drawn to him and starts showing off to get his attention. Together they will embark on a journey of discoveries, love and crime. Killing is just a random offshoot of the violence, which continues to escalate until Carlitos is finally apprehended. Because of his angelic appearance, the press dubs Carlitos "The Angel of Death." Showered with attention because of his beauty, he becomes an overnight celebrity. Altogether, he is believed to have committed over forty thefts and eleven homicides. Today, after more than forty-five years in jail, Carlos Robledo Puch is the longest-serving prisoner in the history of Argentina.
"As a child I liked to experiment by doing things that were meaningless, things that made no sense at all. Some kids take that too far, to a point of no return. That's what this film is about: innocence going mad. Later, reading Jean Genet's Journal Du Voleur (The Thief's Journal) and Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs (Our Lady of the Flowers), I was completely captivated by the force of his poetic and almost religious criminal experience. In Argentina we have this kid that in 1971 robbed and killed a lot of people. He looked like a nineteen-year-old Marilyn Monroe. I guess if you mix all that up you end up with The Angel." [Luis Ortega,The Angel as seen by Luis Ortega by Charlotte Pavard]
Luis Ortega (Buenos Aires, 1980) was born into a family of artists. Both his mother (in the cast of Monobloc) and his brothers and sisters are all actors, while his father is the singer and actor Palito Ortega. After spending seven years in the United States, in 1990 Luis Ortega went back to Argentina, where he soon showed a flair for film and the theater. He studied philosophy before turning to writing the screenplay for his first film, at age 19; the 2002 film would be called Caja Negra. In 2005 he directed Monobloc, which premiered at Toronto, San Sebastian and the BAFICI. In 2012, his Dromómanos would premiere at the BAFICI, earning him the best director award. Two years later Ortega directed Lulu, selected for the Rome Film Fest. El Ángel marked Ortega’s first time at Cannes, bowing in the Un Certain Regard section.