Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Mexico, USA, Netherlands, Portugal
Zama is inspired by a 1956 Argentine novel by Antonio di Benedetto set in the end of the 18th century in colonial South America.
Mexican actor Daniel Giménez Cacho stars as Don Diego de Zama, a frustrated and possibly delusional functionary of the Spanish Empire who can get no respect. Stranded in the boondocks, he desperately waits for a transfer to another locality; for another chance at a better life. Yet this change doesn’t seem likely to happen. His situation is summed up on the book’s first page: “There we were: ready to go, and not going.”
In 2001, director Lucrecia Martel took the Argentine and international film scenes by storm with La Cienaga, her outstanding debut feature, with which she left an indelible stamp on the industry. Her formally unique, psychologically acute and sensually immersive filmmaking is even stronger in Zama, where the world surrounding Don Diego is portrayed in a subtle, elusive game of reflections between reality and Zama’s altered state of consciousness, brought on by anxiety and resentment.
Impressive cinematography and a memorable score are characters in their own right: the lush visuals become jarring at a moment’s notice, while the soundtrack highlights the buzz of the natural world as much as it does the dialogue; electronic tones also abound, lending an air of purposeful anachronism.
Zama is yet another masterpiece from one of the most interesting and creative film directors of our time.
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Producer: Benjamin Domenech, Santiago Gallelli, Matias Roveda, Vania Catani
Screenwriter: Lucrecia Martel
Director of Photography: Rui Pocas
Editor: Miguel Schverdfinger, Karen Harley
Cast: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Lola Duenas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujin, Mariana Nunes, Rafael Spregelburd
Sound: Guido Berenblum, Emmanuel Croset
Production Company: Bananeira Films
Born in Argentina, filmmaker Lucrecia Martel has positioned her work in the international film community. Zama is her fourth feature film after writing and directing La Mujer sin Cabeza, La Nina Santa and La Cienaga. Her films have been acclaimed at the most important film festivals: Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto. New York, Sundance, and Rotterdam, amongst others.
Retrospective of her work have been widely exhibited in film festivals and prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Berkley or the London Tate Museum. She has taken part in the official juries of Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance and Rottehrdam and has directed masterclasses around the world.
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