The Swamp

La Ciénaga, feature film, drama, Argentina, France, Japan, Spain, 2001

DIRECTED BY: Lucrecia Martel

The Swamp

Mercedes Morán (Tali),
Graciela Borges (Mecha),
Martín Adjemián (Gregorio),
Leonora Balcarce (Verónica),
Silvia Baylé (Mercedes),
Sofia Bertolotto (Momi)

Lucrecia Martel

Hugo Colace

Santiago Ricci


February in Northeast Argentina is very hot. Heat and humidity increase the tension between people. Mecha, her husband and four children decide to spend their summer on the big Mandragora estate. Their cousin Tali and her four kids live close by. An unhappy event connects the family and turns their lives into a living hell.

Festivals, awards: Berlin (award for the best debut film, award Alfred Bauer), Toulouse (grand prix, critics’ award), Havana (grand prix, award for direction, award for best actress, award for music), Sundance (award for the best screenplay)

Director’s statement:
In The Swamp there are no conventional rules of story-telling. There is no hidden truth that the actors have to reveal and there is no connection between cause and effect of events that happen to Meche and Tali’s family. In this film the main character is provinciality. In Buenos Aires people deal with their problems in a modern manner, immediately. On the opposite pole, in the provinces, in the hopes of evoking sympathy and causing fear, people usually tell long, complicated and absurd anecdotes.

color, 103'