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La Ciénaga

Chekhov in contemporary Argentina. Mecha and Gregorio are at their rundown country place near La Ciénaga with their teen children. It's hot. The adults drink constantly; Mecha cuts herself, engendering a trip to the hospital and a visit from her son José. A cousin, Tali, brings her children. The kids are on their own, sunbathing by the filthy pool, dancing in town, running in the hills with shotguns, driving cars without licenses. One of the teen girls loves Isabel, a family servant constantly accused of stealing. Mother and son, son and sisters, teen and Isabel are in each other's beds and bathrooms with a creepy intimacy. With no adults paying attention, who's at risk?
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

88

Chicago Tribune by

Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel takes fundamental risks with form and style, and it pays off brilliantly.
90

New Times (L.A.) by Bill Gallo

For better or worse, the filmmaker says nothing directly political about the cruel fate suffered by her people, but the dark poetry of her allusions is powerful.
75

Boston Globe by Jay Carr

The triumph of La Cienaga lies in Martel's way of fashioning the kind of ensemble performance that draws us in by convincing us we're watching behavior, not acting.
80

TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

Martel can barely contain her disgust, and like Bunuel before her, she knows just when to cut the laughs and go straight for the throat.
90

Los Angeles Times by Kevin Thomas

Martel's sharp observations of the foibles of human nature are expressed perfectly in the telling images of cinematographer Hugo Colace and tight editing of Santiago Ricci.
75

Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

It's better to know going in that you're not expected to be able to fit everything together, that you may lose track of some members of the large cast, that it's like attending a family reunion when it's not your family and your hosts are too drunk to introduce you around.

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