Acclaimed filmmaker Lucrecia Martel (La Ciénaga) ventures into the realm of historical fiction and makes the genre entirely her own in this stunning and hypnotic adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 classic of Argentinean literature.
“A cinematic marvel … beautiful, hypnotic, mysterious.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times
In the late 18th century, in a far-flung corner of what seems to be Paraguay, the title character, an officer of the Spanish crown (Daniel Giménez Cacho) born in the Americas, waits in vain for a transfer to a more prestigious location. As the years of waiting go by with no results, Zama joins a party of soldiers involved in a dangerous mission, and his life begins to spiral out of control. Martel renders Zama’s world—his daily regimen of small humiliations and petty politicking—as both absurd and mysterious, and as he increasingly succumbs to lust and paranoia, subject to a creeping disorientation. Precise yet dreamlike, and thick with atmosphere, Zama is a singular and intoxicating experience. (Dir. by Lucrecia Martel, 2017, Argentina, in Spanish with English subtitles, 115 mins., Not Rated)