Special Guests / Honorary Degree
February in the northwest of Argentina. The sun cracks the earth and there are tropical rains. In the woodlands, the land is swamped. These swamps are deadly traps for animals with heavy tracks. Yet, they are a hotbed for happy vermins. But, this is not a story about swamps. It is about Swamp City and its surroundings, 90 kilometers from where, you can find the town of Rey Muerto (Dead King) and not far from the estate known as “La Mandragora” (Mandrake). Mandrake is a plant that was once used as a sedative. Even before than ether and morphine. It was used to help people bear great pain, like that of an amputation.In the story, “La Mandragora” is a farm where red peppers are harvested and where Mecha spends the summer. She is a fifty year-old woman with four children and a husband who dyes his hair. Nothing that a few drinks can’t cure although, as Tali would put it, the alcohol comes in one door and does not go out to the other.Tali is Mecha’s cousin. She also has four children and a husband who loves the house, loves to hunt and loves his children. She lives in Swamp City in a house with no pool. Two accidents will reunite these families on the estate where they will attempt to survive a summer from hell.Not all of them will succeed. This is a story full of futile bloodshed. Injuries of the flesh and internal bleeding.It is a time for violent hunting and long and venomous siestas to coexist satisfactorily. Everyday life is a purpose itself. Only the cutting harsh, despairingly ironic, implausible and hazardous reality.
This Feature Film is also part of the Cinema & Democracy screenings.
Born in 1966 in Salta, Argentina, Lucrecia Martel released her first feature film La ciénaga in 2001, followed by The holy girl in 2004 and The headless woman in 2008. Her fourth film Zama (2017) had its premiere at the 74th Venice International Film Festival in 2017. Retrospectives of her work have been screened at art and cultural institutions such as Harvard, MoMa, Lincoln Center, Cambridge and the Tate Museum in London, and she has conducted around the world many master classes on sound and narrative. During the pandemic she premiered The Passage (2021), an immersive installation at the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, produced remotely. She also released North Terminal (2021) and Camarera de piso (2022), a short film that had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.