Directed by Lucrecia Martel. Argentina. 2017. NR. 1 hour 55 minutes. Strand Releasing. Digital.
Fri., June 1, 2018 thru Thu., June 7, 2018
Philadelphia area premiere! Limited Engagement! Ends Thu, Jun 7.
Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the town in which he is stagnating, to a better place. His situation is delicate. He must ensure that nothing overshadows his transfer. He is forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors who come and go as he stays behind. The years go by and the letter from the King never arrives. When Zama notices everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit.
“Beautiful, hypnotic, mysterious and elliptical, “Zama” is a story about a man at odds with a world that he struggles to dominate, which becomes a lacerating, often surprisingly comic evisceration of colonialism and patriarchy.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“As the credits faded, David [Bordwell] asked, “Have we just seen a masterpiece?” Neither of us doubted that we had, and we suspected that we had also watched the best film we would see during the entire festival… One extraordinary moment which I cannot resist mentioning comes late in the film when a horse in the foreground of a scene turns and looks directly into the lens. Its stare is even more enigmatic than Zama’s face, just another little mystery that Martel provides.” – Kristin Thompson, Observations on Film Art
“Martel’s remarks about patience are fitting given that Zama is, among other things, a film about time, and specifically the ways that subjective experience challenges the banal measurements of the clock that we so often use to mark its passing. Zama demands that its viewer give up on waiting for meaningful events and narrative advancement. In their place, an immersion in textures, sounds and affects comes to dominate.” – Erika Balsom, Sight & Sound