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LA CIeNAGA aka THE SWAMP
USA: Cowboy Booking International
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Mercedes Moran, Graciela Borges, Martin Adjemian, Leonora Balcarce, Silvia Bayle, Juan Cruz Bordeu, Noelia Bravo Herrera, Maria Micol Ellero, Andrea López, Sebastian Montagna, Daniel Valenzuela, Franco Veneranda, Fabio Villafane, Diego Baenas, Sofia Bertolotto
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Countries: Argentina / Spain / France
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
USA: 100 mins
UK: 102 mins
UK Certificate: 12 contains one use of strong language and some bloodshed
USA Release Date: 3 October 2001 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 5 October (Limited Release)
Winner, of the Alfred Bauer Prize, Berlin 2001 and Sundance-NHK Award, LA CIeNAGA introduces the talented director Lucrecia Martel, whose film has been widely compared to the early films of Jane Campion and Luis Bunuel. Written by Lucrecia Martel as well LA CIeNAGA is the story of a middle-class family in crisis during their summer holidays at a villa with a filthy pool during February in the north-west of Argentina where it can be uncomfortably hot and humid.
Mecha (Graciela Borges) is a fifty something woman with four accident prone teenagers, a husband who dyes his hair and the tedious problem of sullen servants. On a typically hot, overcast summer's day, Mecha, her husband and other friends relax around the pool at their summer house named La Mandrogora, after a plant used as an anaesthetic. A storm is brewing in the distance. This is no rich idyll with paving that is cracked and dirty, plus the water in the pool is stagnant. At the call for aperitifs, the guests lumber to the drinks trolley like zombies from another time. When she staggers towards the trolley for one more drink, Mecha stumbles, cutting her chest on shards of the glass she was drinking from.
Tali (Mercedes Moran) is Mecha's cousin. She lives in a town nearby and like Mecha, has four children, though hers are younger. Tali's husband loves the children, loves to hunt and loves his house, named La Cienaga. Tali's family spend some of their time in the summer with Mecha's at La Mandrogora.
The families converge at La Mandrogora as crowds gather to glimpse a vision of the Virgin Carmen on a nearby water tower, and as the hunting season begins.