La Ciénaga
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Two families try to make the best of a bad situation as they suffer through a crippling heat wave in this neo-realistic drama, featuring a primarily non-professional cast. Tali (Mercedes Moran) is minding four small children with little help from her husband, who is preoccupied with the opening of hunting season, as a record hot spell grips Argentina. Things aren't much better for her cousin Mecha (Graciela Borges), who is looking after four teenagers and a husband (Martin Adjemian) who can hardly be bothered to help out, but Mecha does have a pool, even if it hasn't been cleaned in… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Experiencing this film ultimately becomes as stimulating as watching metal rust."
‑ Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle
"Look closely and you'll find something not often present in your average art-house flick -- a hint, intense and unsettling, of art itself."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"the most remarkable debut in recent experience"
‑ Jake Euker,
"La Cienaga is well worth the trouble finding -- and sitting through -- wherever it plays."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"A disturbing narrative of anomie, bigotry, and dysfunctionality that holds up a revelatory mirror to human nature."
‑ Rod Armstrong,
"There's a real energy in the way that La Cienaga takes nothing for granted -- except your attention and your intelligence."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"Martel glues together a disjointed picture of a society where tension lies only skin deep."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
""La Cienaga" literally means the swamp, and the film feels it: a hothouse atmosphere of heat waves and rainstorms and the mired feeling of life stuck in a social bog."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"A wonder to look at, never less than in-your-face visually."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"A dark drama cuts to the bone with its relentlessly bleak portrait of family life breaking down."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A strikingly well-directed, relentlessly dreary debut feature from Argentine director Lucrecia Martel."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"The triumph of La Cienaga lies in Martel's way of fashioning the kind of ensemble performance that draws us in by convincing us we're watching behavior, not acting."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"[Martel's] technique works, often brilliantly, in depicting the hyper-real, unsettling atmosphere of a sometimes normal, potentially violent, mostly sick family."
‑ Kim Morgan, Oregonian
"I found it a fascinating fly-on-the-wall experience, seeing the kind of ugly moments a family would hide from us had we been officially invited in."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"Within the first moments of her debut feature, La Ciénaga, writer/director Lucrecia Martel demonstrates a piercing sensibility and a sharp eye."
‑ Lucas Hilderbrand, PopMatters
More reviews for La Ciénaga on Rotten Tomatoes