La Ciénaga
May 10th, 2018

La Ciénaga [2001]

Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center as we showcase the debut features of some of today’s modern visionary filmmakers with a year-long series dubbed Women Direct. Our fourth selection is Lucrecia Martel’s La Ciénaga [2001] with an introduction by Riverrun Global Film Series curator Tanya Shilina-Conte.

  • Screening Date: Thursday, May 10th, 2018 | 7:00pm
  • Venue: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
  • Specifications: 2001 / 103 minutes / English / Color
  • Director(s): Lucrecia Martel
  • Print: Supplied by Janus Films
  • Tickets: $8 general, $6 students & seniors, $5 members

Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202

TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

Courtesy of Criterion Collection:

The release of Lucrecia Martel’s La Ciénaga heralded the arrival of an astonishingly vital and original voice in Argentine cinema. With a radical and disturbing take on narrative, beautiful cinematography, and a highly sophisticated use of on- and offscreen sound, Martel turns her tale of a dissolute bourgeois extended family, whiling away the hours of one sweaty, sticky summer, into a cinematic marvel. This visceral take on class, nature, sexuality, and the ways that political turmoil and social stagnation can manifest in human relationships is a drama of extraordinary tactility, and one of the great contemporary film debuts.


  • Berlin International Film Festival – 2001 – Winner: Alfred Bauer Award
  • Toronto International Film Festival – 2001
  • New York Film Festival – 2001

“From the very beginning, even when I’m writing, I think a lot about the sound. Many elements of my work in cinema come from oral storytelling and oral tradition. I think about sound and the rhythm of the sound.”

Courtesy of Zama‘s press notes:

Born in Argentina, filmmaker Lucrecia Martel has positioned her work in the international film community. ZAMA (2017) is her fourth feature film after writing and directing LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (2008, The Headless Woman), LA NIÑA SANTA (2004, The Holy Girl) and LA CIÉNAGA (2001, The Swamp). Her films have been acclaimed at the most important film festivals: Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, New York, Sundance and Rotterdam, amongst others. Retrospectives of her work have been widely exhibited in film festivals and prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Berkeley or the London Tate Museum. She has taken part in the official juries of Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Sundance and Rotterdam, and has dictated masterclasses around the world.


  • Zama (2017)
  • La mujer sin cabeza [The Headless Woman] (2008)
  • La niña santa [The Holy Girl] (2004)
  • La ciénaga [The Swamp] (2001)

Here is a curated selection of links shared on our Facebook page for additional insight/information:

  • 4/15/18 – “With only three features (The Holy Girl and The Headless Woman are her follow ups), Martel quickly established herself as one of the most radical narrative filmmakers working today. If you only watch the first four minutes of her debut work, a darkly comic vision of a bourgeoisie family, it is immediately apparent how brazenly exciting her methods are, creating her own cinematic language to teach us how and what to watch.” Peter Labuza, The Film Stage – link
  • 4/16/18 – “When the Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel expresses admiration for those directors who challenge reality, she could be talking about herself. Although known mainly to cinephiles, Ms. Martel is considered by many to be her nation’s, or even Latin America’s, pre-eminent filmmaker. In an essay about her first feature, La Ciénaga (The Swamp), the Argentine film scholar David Oubiña praised ‘a body of work that from the beginning, has radiated a rare perfection.’” J. Hoberman, New York Times – link
  • 4/18/18 – “I’ll never forget first seeing Lucrecia Martel’s La Ciénaga at the New York Film Festival in 2001. It was one of the most assured first features I’d ever seen, a complex, atmosphere-drenched portrait of a middle-class family barely hanging on during a torpid summer. The film marked the emergence of a fully formed artistic sensibility, and remains one of this century’s defining films.” Dennis Lim, Film Society of Lincoln Center – link
  • 5/9/18 – “As Lucrecia Martel demonstrates in La Ciénaga (The Swamp), there is more twisted banal horror and caustic humour to be discovered in the forms of personal narrative than found within the boundaries of the horror genre itself.” Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Senses of Cinema – link

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