The Swamp (La Ciénaga)

The Swamp (La Ciénaga)
  • 2001
  • Argentina / Spain
  • 1h 42min
  • 12
  • Directed by: Lucrecia Martel
  • Written by: Lucrecia Martel
  • Cast: Graciela Borges, Mercedes Morán, Martín Adjemián, Daniel Valenzuela
  • Language: Spanish

Sweat drips from every inch of celluloid in Martel's film in which two families struggle to survive the Argentinean heat. One mother, broken and ineffectual wallows in a drunken fog; the other precariously juggles work and kids. Martel has withheld a soundtrack to allow oppressive silences to grow, while shots of moody inaction are beautifully lingered upon. Although the perspective is original, ultimately the viewer is left as frustratingly disempowered as the characters in the film.

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