Zama | Chicago Reader
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Zama

Zama

After a hiatus of nearly a decade, the brilliant Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel (The Holy Girl, The Headless Woman) returns with an entrancing 17th-century period drama. The title character, a magistrate in rural Argentina, longs to return to his native Spain so he can be reunited with his wife and children; waiting on his deliverance, he idles away his time with native women and petty political squabbles until he's sent into the jungle on a suicide mission to capture a violent bandit. As always with Martel, the story is opaque but the atmosphere is rich and immersive, with meticulously designed frames that balance one's attention between the principal characters and marginalized individuals (in this case women, slaves, and Native Americans). The soundtrack is also characteristically vibrant, as Martel conjures up a vivid world beyond the frame. In Spanish with subtitles.

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