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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: #5. Lucrecia Martel’s Zama


Director: Lucrecia Martel
Writer: Lucrecia Martel

We’ve been waiting quite a while for Zama, and had high hopes this would appear at either Cannes or Venice in 2016. Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel has become one of her country’s most prolific filmmakers with three outstanding titles to her name, beginning with 2001’s La Cienega (where she won the Alfred Bauer film award in Berlin, and the title recently became part of the Criterion selection), 2004’s The Holy Girl, and the coolly received The Headless Woman in 2008, which has been critically recuperated since. Her latest, Zama, is a parody, according to Martel and is based on the highly regarded 1956 novel by Antonio di Benedetto focusing on Diego de Zama, an officer of the Spanish crown. While endlessly waiting for a transfer to Buenos Aires, he joins a party of soldiers hunting down a bandit before absconding to less regulated realms where he is allowed to live freely. The project is one of the most ambitious US-Latin America-Euro co-productions in the country’s history.

Cast: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Lola Duenas, Juan Minujin

Production Co./Producer(s): REI Cinema (Benjamin Domenech, Santiago Gallelli, Matias Roveda); Bananeira Films (Vania Catani); El Deseo (Agustin and Pedro Almodovar); O Som e a Furia (Luis Urbano); KNM (Michel Merkt); Canana (Pablo Cruz).

U.S. Distributor: Right Available.

Release Date: Considering Lucrecia Martel took an Emir Kusturica sized break during production, not to mention the film’s budget and ambitious scope (the project was initially announced back in 2013), Zama is now apparently in post-production. Twice programmed in the Cannes main competition, we’re thinking this will be ready for the same platform for Martel in 2017.

[related]Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017[/related]

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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