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Special Presentation in association with Sight & Sound


A political western-cum-existentialist epic from the one of Latin America’s boldest filmmakers, Zama offers an incisive and visually arresting examination of the abuses of colonialism.


Dir-Scr Lucrecia Martel
Prod Benjamin Domenech, Vania Catani, Matías Roveda, Santiago Gallelli
With Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele
Argentina-Brazil-Spain-The Netherlands-Mexico-Portugal-USA
UK Distribution New Wave Films

For her fourth feature, Lucrecia Martel swaps her native Salta for the epic landscape of a late 18th century colonial empire ruled over by a distant Spain. A blistering adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 existential novel, Zama charts the progressive decline of a minor officer and Magistrate of the Spanish Crown. Don Diego de Zama (an extraordinary performance by Daniel Giménez Cacho) is desperate to relocate from his remote regional office to the city where his wife and children live. A letter of recommendation from the Governor, which is required for such moves, seems endlessly postponed and Zama finds himself increasingly side-lined in a world where the Spanish-born élite mismanage the running of their protectorates. Martel’s assured style balances the personal and the political, as Zama’s frustrations and failings are viewed through the prism of the broader canvas of Spain’s imperialist grip across the Americas. With its richly layered sound design, visuals that accentuate the grotesque and absurd, and a narrative whose personal story becomes a microcosm of universal malaise, Zama is an audacious, intense and often disarming experience. This disturbing yet intoxicating cinematic journey takes you deep into the darker recesses of the soul.

Maria Delgado

Sight & Sound
Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Lucrecia Martel, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

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