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The Holy Girl

Holy Girl
April 21, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Lucrecia Martel.

The Holy Girl  (2004)


A modest medical conference has taken over the rundown Hotel Termas in the fictional Argentine town of La Ciénaga (said to be based on Lucrecia Martel’s hometown, Salta), flooding its dingy rooms with strangers.  From the crowd emerges Dr. Jano (Carlos Belloso), whose balding, middle-aged comportment somehow exhilarates both hotel proprietress Helena (Mercedes Morán) and her sexually and spiritually inquisitive daughter, Amalia (María Alche).  Equal parts profound coming-of-age tale and an exploration of a teenager’s spiritual awakening, Martel’s visually alluring, quietly moving second feature revels in moments over hard-hitting narrative points.  The local music shop’s resident theremin player and Amalia’s sex-obsessed friend pepper The Holy Girl with specificity, while slightly askew camera framing and layers of diegetic detail underscore Martel’s remarkable, self-taught visual vernacular.

35mm, color, in Spanish with English subtitles, 106 min.  Production: Lita Stanic.  Director: Lucrecia Martel.  Screenwriter: Lucrecia Martel, Juan Pablo Domenech.  Cinematographer: Félix Monti.  Editor: Santiago Ricci.  Cast: Mercedes Morán, Carlos Belloso, Alejandro Urdapilleta, María Alche.

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