fbpx Biennale Cinema 2017 | Lucrecia Martel - Zama
La Biennale di Venezia

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Lucrecia Martel - Zama

Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Mexico, USA, The Netherlands, Portugal / 115’
language Spanish
from the novel Zama by Antonio di Benedetto;
cast Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujín, Mariana Nunes, Rafael Spregelburd
screenplay Lucrecia Martel
cinematographer Rui Poças
editor Miguel Schverdfinger, Karen Harley
costume designer Julio Suarez scenografia Renata Pinheiro
sound Guido Berenblum, ASA, Emmanuel Croset


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 realizes everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit.


I wish to move towards the past with the same irreverence we have when moving towards the future. Not trying to document pertinent utensils and facts, because Zama contains no historicist pretensions. But rather trying to submerge in a world that still today is vast, with animals, plants, and barely comprehensible women and men. A world that was devastated before it was ever encountered, and that therefore remains in delirium. The past in our continent is blurred and confused. We made it this way so we don’t think about the ownership of land, the spoils on which the Latin American abyss is founded, entangling the genesis of our own identity. As soon as we begin to peer into the past, we feel ashamed. Zama plunges deep into the time of mortal men, in this short existence that has been allowed to us, across which we slide anxious to love, trampling exactly what could be loved, postponing the meaning of life as if the day that matters the most is the one that isn’t here yet, rather than today. And yet, the same world that seems determined to destroy us becomes our own salvation: when asked if we want to live more, we always say yes.

Sala Perla

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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema