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Lucrecia Martel’s triumphant directorial debut La Ci럑aga was the tale of two deteriorating bourgeois families spending a holiday to the backdrop of a murderously hot Argentinean summer. Her second feature The Holy Girl was produced in collaboration with Petro Almodovar and Latin America’s foremost woman producer, Lita Stantic. Once again, Martel attempts to critique the themes of sexual discrimination, the oppression of women, and the gap between the rich and the poor that is prevalent in modern-day Argentina.
A devout Catholic teenage girl named Amalia lives with her mother and her uncle in a hotel, which her family owns and runs. One day, a crowd of people gathers in the street, and Amalia is amongst the crowd when a man standing behind her presses himself against her in a sexual manner. Later, in the hotel, she discovers that this man is Dr. Jano, one of the visiting doctors staying at the hotel for a medical convention. Days afterwards, Amalia confides in Josefina (her best friend) with what occurred in the street with Dr. Jano and of her secret mission: to save one man from sin.
Martel confronts the delicate problems overlapping teenage sexuality in the context of religion. From beginning to end, the film is an ensemble of deliberately arranged characters within the frame, with slow camera movements and a discordance of scenes and music. This results in a film with a strangely eerie tone, a cold reality interlaced with frightening revelations, and is at times curiously funny. Excellent direction and execution makes The Holy Girl a gratifying film experience. (Lim Sung-min)
Lucrecia Martel1Lucrecia Martel1
Lucrecia MARTEL was born in 1966. She studied animation at Avellaneda experimental and attended the ENERC for a few years, studying Communication Science. She directed some short movies between 1988 and 1994, among them Dead King, which was part of Short Stories I (Brief Tales I). For her first film, La Ciénaga, she won numerous prizes. In 2004 her second feature film, La Niñasanta, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Her third film, La Mujer Sin Cabeza, was selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.