‘Zama’ Trailer: Lucrecia Martel Captures an 18th-Century Argentinian Adventure

Written by on August 26, 2017 

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Venice Film Festival begins next week, which means one of our most-anticipated films of the year will finally make its debut. After helming one of the best films of the previous decade with 2008’s The Headless Woman, director Lucrecia Martel is returning this year Zama. Produced by brothers Pedro and Agustin Almodóvar, Argentinean author Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 novel has been adapted by Martel, which follows a story set in the late 18th century in Paraguay, tracking Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Gimenez Cacho), an officer of the Spanish Crown, who is tasked with going after a bandit.

Ahead of its Venice premiere and subsequent stops at TIFF and NYFF, a new trailer has now arrived. “Martel renders Zama’s world—his daily regimen of small humiliations and petty politicking—as both absurd and mysterious, and as he increasingly succumbs to lust and paranoia, subject to a creeping disorientation,” the NYFF descriptions notes. “Precise yet dreamlike, and thick with atmosphere, Zama is a singular and intoxicating experience, a welcome return from one of contemporary cinema’s truly brilliant minds.”

Check out the trailer below via Indiewire as well as poster designs by Diego Berakha.

Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him transfer to a better location. 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. Of course, the letter from the King never arrives, and when Zama notices that he has lost everything waiting, he decides to join a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit. Perhaps that way he can get the King to hear about him. Zama leaves to distant lands inhabited by wild Indians, but the bandit they are after turns out to be one of his soldiers. Zama is taken prisoner and Vicuñas’ men think about sentencing him to death. As he is now free from his hopes of being transferred and promoted, knowing his life is at risk, he finds out that his only desire is to live.

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Zama will premiere at Venice, TIFF, and NYFF.


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