Zama

NR, 115 minutes

 

The first film by Argentinian auteur Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman, La Ciénaga) in nine years, ZAMA generated much excitement upon its release in 2018. It tells the story of Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, as he waits for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the town in which he is stagnating, to a better place. His situation is delicate. He must ensure that nothing overshadows his transfer. He is forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors who come and go as he stays behind. The years go by and the letter from the King never arrives. When Zama notices everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit. (2017, Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, Spanish with English subtitles, 115 min, NR)

“A mordantly funny and relentlessly modernist critique of colonialism.” — Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com

“Even as Martel steeps the film deep within Zama’s perspective, she observes his tortuous male pathos with the critical distance of a female gaze.” — Devika Girish, Village Voice

“If cinema is about being transported to another place, Martel is unrivaled as a guide…” — Adam Nayman, The Ringer

“There’s absolutely nothing else like it in theaters this year, which I mean as both a hearty endorsement and a necessary forewarning.” — David Sims, The Atlantic


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