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Zama

Lucrecia Martel
Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Dominican Republic, France, Netherlands, Mexico, Switzerland, USA, Portugal, Lebanon 2017 / 115’
Waiting For The Barbarians

The latest film by Lucrecia Martel (La CiénagaThe Holy GirlThe Headless Woman), based on a novel by Antonio Di Benedetto, is dedicated to, as the eminent Argentinean writer and journalist Martin Caparrós (the author of Hunger) expressed it, "the victims of expectations." Zama, residing on the outskirts of a Spanish colony. He is constantly waiting to be promoted, transferred or simply noticed, for an opportunity to prove himself to far-off authorities. In looking out for the future, he doesn't see value in the present, in what's right next to him. He is a prisoner of the office he holds, constantly tethered to rituals and forms, defining himself by his social position. The tropical heat and moisture quickly dissolve those forms, however, ridiculing the supposed robustness of the colonial powers, exposing the emptiness of rituals brought from Europe, which are simply grotesque there. The more desperately the protagonist clings to his rigid identities as an official, a colonizer, a proud white man, the more frustration and humiliation he encounters: his transfer request is refused, he's rejected by a woman, his salary is misplaced, getting stuck somewhere in transit. By setting her story in a cultural borderland, where the representatives of the Spanish crown are forced into uncertain coexistence with the indigenous people from those lands, Martel gives Zama a chance for transformation and liberation- chance that comes with a fall.

Małgorzata Sadowska

awards

Havana FF 2017 - Best Film; Rotterdam IFF 2018 - KNF Award

Lucrecia Martel

Born in 1966, Lucrecia Martel is an Argentinean director, screenwriter and producer and a graduate of La Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica (ENERC) in Buenos Aires. She is considered one of the co-creators of so-called New Argentinian Cinema. She has been interested in the world of women since the very beginning: their social roles while imprisoned in corsets, their Catholic morality, their entanglement in family and class relationships. Although the period dram Zama moves away from modernity and involves the director's first male protagonist, she continues to focus on her favorite subjects of identity, the place of individuals in society and their addiction to status and position.

Selected filmography

2001 Bagno / La Ciénaga

2004 Święta dziewczyna / La niña santa / The Holy Girl

2008 Kobieta bez głowy / La mujer sin cabeza / The Headless Woman

2017 Zama

Cast & Crew

director Lucrecia Martel
screenplay Lucrecia Martel
cinematography Rui Poças
editing Karen Harley, Miguel Schverdfinger
cast Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele
producer Agustín Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar, Joslyn Barnes, Alejandro Cacetta, Vânia Catani, Juan Manuel Collado, Pablo Cruz, Benjamín Doménech, Eva Eisenloeffel, Claire Gadea, Santiago Gallelli, Juan Pablo Galli, Gael García Bernal, Esther García, Danny Glover, Guillermo Kuitca, Marie-Pierre Macia, Michel Merkt, Marta Núñez Puerto, Juan Perdomo, Leontine Petit, Susan Rockefeller, Matias Roveda, Georges Schoucair, Julia Solomonoff, Angelisa Stein, Fabiana Tiscornia, Luís Urbano, Juan Vera
production Bananeira Filmes, CNC, Canana Films, Deseo, El Institut Français, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, KNM, L'Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, Lemming Film, Louverture Films, MPM Film, Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement International, Netherland Filmfund, O Som e a Fúria, Patagonik Film Group, Perdomo Productions, Picnic Producciones, Programa Ibermedia, Rei Cine, Schortcut Films
Polish distributor Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty
language Spanish
colouration colour