7.0/10
4,313
30 user 63 critic

La Ciénaga (2001)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 12 April 2001 (Argentina)
The life of two women and their families in a small provincial town of Salta, Argentina.

Director:

Lucrecia Martel

Writer:

Lucrecia Martel

On Disc

at Amazon

16 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Holy Girl (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

16-year-old Amalia looks to save the soul a middle-aged doctor.

Director: Lucrecia Martel
Stars: Mercedes Morán, Carlos Belloso, Alejandro Urdapilleta
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After hitting something with her car, a bourgeois Argentine woman's life slowly descends into paranoia and isolation, as she fears she may have killed someone.

Director: Lucrecia Martel
Stars: María Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Inés Efron
Zama (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on the novel by Antonio Di Benedetto written in 1956, on Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish officer of the seventeenth century settled in Asunción, who awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires.

Director: Lucrecia Martel
Stars: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Under the creative direction of Gael Garcia Bernal, ten award-winning directors tell the story of the high school dropout crisis in Latin America in an anthology of narrative and ... See full summary »

Directors: Flávia Castro, Mariana Chenillo, and 9 more credits »
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Estefania Piñeres
Silent Light (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a Mennonite community in Mexico, a father's faith is tested when he falls in love with a new woman.

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Stars: Cornelio Wall, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz
Bolivia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Bolivian immigrant working illegally as a cook in a small restaurant in Buenos Aires suffers abuse and discrimination from its customers.

Director: Israel Adrián Caetano
Stars: Freddy Flores, Rosa Sánchez, Oscar Bertea
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the destruction of Fontainhas nearly complete, the old man Ventura wanders around a bleak housing project and the ruins of the slums, meeting with his kids and old friends.

Director: Pedro Costa
Stars: Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte
Sang sattawat (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Story about director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's parents who were both doctors, and director's memories about growing up in the hospital environment.

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Stars: Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Amidst turmoil and racial conflict in a Francophone African state, a white French woman fights for her coffee crop, her family and ultimately for her life.

Director: Claire Denis
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lambert, Isaach De Bankolé
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Directors: Daniel Burman, Israel Adrián Caetano, and 9 more credits »
Stars: Martín Adjemián, Carlos Aldana, Oscar Alegre
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A wife tries to leave her village to get away from her abusive husband.

Director: Lucrecia Martel
Stars: Roly Serrano, Sandra Ceballos, Carlos Aldana
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Stars: Julieta Laso, Fidela Carrizo, Jorgelina Contrera
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Mercedes Morán ... Tali
Graciela Borges ... Mecha
Martín Adjemián ... Gregorio
Leonora Balcarce Leonora Balcarce ... Verónica
Silvia Baylé Silvia Baylé ... Mercedes
Sofia Bertolotto Sofia Bertolotto ... Momi
Juan Cruz Bordeu Juan Cruz Bordeu ... José
Noelia Bravo Herrera Noelia Bravo Herrera ... Agustina
Maria Micol Ellero Maria Micol Ellero ... Mariana
Andrea López Andrea López ... Isabel
Sebastián Montagna Sebastián Montagna ... Luciano
Daniel Valenzuela Daniel Valenzuela ... Rafael
Franco Veneranda Franco Veneranda ... Martín
Fabio Villafane Fabio Villafane ... Perro
Diego Baenas Diego Baenas ... Joaquín
Edit

Storyline

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? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Argentina | France | Spain | Japan

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

12 April 2001 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

La Ciénaga See more »

Filming Locations:

Salta, Argentina

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,520, 7 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$103,215, 24 March 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

With respect to the original script there was no change, the adherence between script and the final cut is absolute, except for a short scene that was eliminated from the work plan. See more »

Quotes

Mecha: ¡Qué porquería me resultaste, Gregorio!
Mecha: ¡Chinita carnavalera!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in La última película (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Don't boo a movie if just because of its local appeal you do not understand it
20 February 2005 | by bwahler1See all my reviews

The previous comment - a scathing review - reads as an effective degradation of Martel's "La Ciénaga" to a wanna-be artsy movie that forgot to include a message to convey or even a story to tell. First of all: this is far from being the truth. Second: nonetheless most publics will probably take that impression away from seeing "La Ciénaga" if they do not know beforehand what to expect. That is neither the fault of the audience nor that of Lucrecia Martel's excellent movie.

Like other excellent directors from around the world, for instance her compatriot Daniel Burman recounting stories from Buenos Aires' Jewish community - Lucrecia Martel has (in my opinion wisely) decided that she will be at her best when telling about the world she knows best: the particular social setting of the Northwest Argentinean provincial capital Salta. A beautiful city, in a province ruled by a populist strongman, with mixed population, urban middle class and a upper crust of provincial landowner aristocracy, that is resistantly moving into a post-feudal age. The pace of life is slow - and comes to a near standstill during the long summer, where people of means escape into summer villages with a slightly preferable micro-climate.

Lucrecia Martel's movie has a "documentary" air about it - but it can only appear fake if one is angry at having paid eight bucks to see a film one does not understand because its appeal is entirely "local".

Now, even if you do not have a first hand experience of Argentinean society, let alone that particular subset that the one of Salta is and neither understand Spanish in its Argentinean version or even more the dialect of the Northwest (not only "ll" and "y" but also "rr"'s are pronounced "sh" as in Washington) you may enjoy the movie if you know the little I indicated above. And believe me: Salta is like that! Departing from this, you may in any case enjoy the excellent photography that perfectly fits and reverberates the pace of slouching decadence, and rejoice in the sometimes not so subtle symbolism of the dysfunctional and untimely nature of the beings populating the movie. The actors do an outstanding job at portraying characters with all the traits you could expect to encounter in Salta's summer mountain escapes. You can take my word for it: these people actually exist!

Is this artsy? While the location selected is one that stands for a niche in a niche market of current cinematography - Martel's choice is highly commendable: for it is this courageous choice that enables here to tell stories that she unlike any other can bring to the screen and apply to them all the skills of the craft she and her team have mastered. If you accept that you will enjoy a true gem of contemporary cinema. If you reject her choice, then at least waste a moment of your time that you had set out to complain about those ridiculously artsy movie directors and consider why Woody Allen may have decided to make one NYC movie after the other. And how much the Coen Brothers' works profit from their choice of more than peculiar regional settings.

My recommendation: take the time, open your mind, suppress the expectations and watch "La Ciénaga". Remember: if you don't like it, it's not your fault - but neither does it have to be Lucrecia Martel's.


37 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed