Zama at Brattle Theatre
Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:30pm 7:00pm 9:30pm
Friday, July 6 – Thursday, July 12
(2017) dir Lucretia Martel w/Daniel Giménez Cacho [115 min; DCP]
“Lucrecia Martel’s cinematic marvel ZAMA tells the dreamlike story of Don Diego (a wonderful Daniel Giménez Cacho), a proud if beleaguered agent of Western colonialism. When you first meet him, Diego is waiting for a transfer from a desolate outpost. He has been waiting a long time. Over this pleasurably eccentric movie, Diego — with his noble head held high, his tragically ill-fitting wig and slow-growing despair — continues to wait, while simultaneously being assailed by slights, insults, rejections, humiliations, a comically inquisitive llama and catastrophic physical violence. Diego’s tribulations are almost worthy of a Christian martyr except that he is suffering for sins of his own making.
“Mr. Giménez Cacho, who appears in nearly every scene, anchors ZAMA beautifully in an expressive yet reserved performance that pulls you in intellectually rather than emotionally. (Early on, when he stands in profile to the camera with his tricorn and aquiline nose, he suggests a misplaced George Washington.) This is crucial to how the movie works, particularly because it is told from the point of view of the colonizer, not the colonized. Ms. Martel is exploring the past, how we got here and why, but she is more interested in relations of power than in individual psychological portraits. The monstrous must be humanized to be understood, which doesn’t mean it deserves our tears.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times