Zama marks the long awaited return of Lucrecia Martel. Well done. Here she offers a scathingly insightful perception of long unresolved, dangerous conflicts during a period of raging colonialism, and a class divide wider than the Amazon itself.
Adapted from the novel by Antonio Di Benedetto, (and widely considered one of the greatest of Argentine novels) this touching period drama follows the story of Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) a righteous 17th Century officer of the Spanish Crown eagerly awaiting a transfer from the small South American colony where he currently waits, stagnating. His relocation would take him to a disaster ridden Buenos Aries, but with promise of a better life, however Zama stands in an emotionally delicate place.
Despite the plot hinging on his ongoing longing, the film is not without its own turbulent subtext: a burgeoning affair, a thoroughly beguiling villain and a treasure hunt that refuses to reveal its secrets. Many more calamities await, promising to drawn you in and leave you, perhaps, with your own sense of longing…
If we accept "colonial dystopia" as a viable atmosphere, it's hard to imagine another filmmaker conjuring it better than Argentinian master Lucrecia Martel. (research Ellie Alexander-Wilson) An intriguing story, beautifully told. Come.