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 »
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
Maybe you have to be Argentinian to really appreciate this film. In the stultifying heat of a hot, humid summer, a rich (though decaying) family sit around drinking, playing with guns, exhibiting casual racism and watching television reports of the appearance of the Virgin Mary. No-one does anything useful and very little in the way of plot occurs; indeed, even when things do happen, the film refuses to treat them as plot (for example, a late scene, threatening tragedy, is never followed up). It's a pretty powerful metaphor for national decline, and if you strain, you can detect faint hints of black humour, but even so, 'La Cienaga' is pretty devoid of conventional entertainment. The acting convinces, so does the dialogue; but there's not that much to keep you watching.
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