Facets Cinémathèque

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Sat., July 16–Sun., July 17, 2005

Chicago Premiere

La Cineaga
(The Swamp)

On selected Sundays, the Facets Cinémathèque proudly presents a monthly series featuring contemporary Latin American films. Curated by Cinema Tropical.

Film still: La Cineaga Film still: La Cineaga
"La Ciénaga perspires from the screen, it creates a vision of social malaise that feels paradoxically familiar and new...If it's decadence you want, this is the real thing, and it's not the least bit glamorous."
  —New York Times
"A veritable Chekhov tragicomedy of provincial life...La Ciénaga seems closer to documentary than fiction, as tumultuous, tender, and horrifying as real life caught on the fly."
  —Village Voice
"This first film is of an unforgettable force and splendour...Martel knows how to tell a story by alternating vigorous character study and contemplation on nature, objects and humans."
  —Liberation (France)
"A dank, humid meditation on rotting families."
  —Roger Ebert
Recommended "Astonishing...This has the power of great literature"
  —Chicago Reader
"Martel creates a world so hazy, dense, and oppressive that it has a tactile quality."
  —Onion AV Club

February in the north of Argentina can be uncomfortably hot and humid. Bodies become sluggish and sticky, and tensions rise. Mecha is in her 50's, with four accident-prone teenagers, a husband who dyes his hair and the tedious problem of sullen servants. Nothing that a few drinks can't cure. Tali is Mecha's cousin. She has four noisy small children. Her husband loves his house, loves his kids, and loves to hunt. Mecha and her family spend their summers at a country estate whose glory has long faded, and were the two families, reunited by an accident, will attempt to survive a summer from hell. With uncompromising talent, Martel's astonishing feature debut—which preceded her latest Holy Girl—brilliantly depicts the decadence the Argentine middle-class through the story of this family.

Directed by Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Spain, 2001, 35mm, 102 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.


  • Sat-Sun, July 16-17 at 1 p.m.
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$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation