Lucrecia Martel

Argentinia, Spain, Netherlands, France 2017. 115 Min.
Color. DCP. Sp/e

The end of the 18th century, Asunción in Paraguay, an outpost of civilisation in the midst of wilderness: Don Diego de Zama, a lowly official in the Spanish colonial administration, wants to get away. He hates the tropical climate, he doesn’t trust the natives, he misses his wife and children. So he applies for a transfer, with a promotion if possible. But time and again, Zama’s superiors are evasive in their answer. And as he waits, he falls apart. Zama loses status and possessions, ends up in a ruinous hostel inhabited by ghosts, and finally advances with a mercenary army through the jungle, where his sense of reality falls apart for good. Intoxicated by transition? A delirium of death?


Nine long years after her last work (La mujer sin cabeza, 2008), the award-winning screenwriter, director and producer Lucrecia Martel, who was born in 1966, has adapted the eponymous 1956 novel by her compatriot Antonio di Benedetto in her fourth feature film. By focusing on the power structures of a social microcosm, she creates a kind of anti-costume drama, in which the forced boredom of the tragic hero finds its equivalent in the Kafkaesque machinations of the ruling class. The heart of darkness here beats in South America. (as)


DirectorLucrecia Martel
ScreenplayLucrecia Martel
CinematographyRui Poças
EditingMiguel Schverdfinger, Karen Harley
WithDaniel Gimenez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujín
ProducersBenjamín Domenech, Santiago Gallelli, Matias Roveda, Vânia Catani, Eva Eisenloeffel, Leontine Petit, Joost de Vries