Also in this program
Scorching heat in a small town in Argentina. A tropical morass of blood, sweat and alcohol pervades the estate on which two families spend a vacation characterized by boredom, desolation, and lethargy. The filthy pool in the back yard symbolizes the moral swamp of the title ("la ciénaga") into which the protagonists are drawn and which makes their summer a living hell. Lucrecia Martel tells the story of Argentinian middle-class life gone awry with such tension that even the audience is sucked into the vortex.
Meet the director
Lucrecia Martel was born in Salta, northern Argentina, in 1966. As a teenager, she often made home movies of her large family. In 1986, Martel moved to Buenos Aires in order to study journalism and later film at the Avellaneda Experimental (AVEX) and the Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica (ENERC). Following a number of short films, including REY MUERTO (1995), which received awards at numerous international festivals, she began to make documentaries for television. For LA CIÉNAGA (2001), she received the Sundance Filmmakers' Award for her screenplay as well as the Alfred Bauer Award for best debut film at the Berlinale in 2001. Her works also include LA NIÑA SANTA (2004), LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (2008), and ZAMA (2017), all of which she not only directed but also wrote the screenplay for. Her films have been shown at festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, New York, Rotterdam, and at Sundance. Film festivals as well as such institutions as Harvard University, UCLA Berkeley, London's Tate Museum, and the Lincoln Center in New York have shown retrospectives of her work. Martel is one of the most important female filmmakers in Latin America.