ZAMA

by Lucrecia Martel

Dramatic Comedy, 2017

Argentina, Brazil, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United States

Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the backwater in which he is stagnating (or in which he feels his life is suspended), to a better location.

His situation is delicate. He must ensure that nothing overshadows his transfer. He is forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors who come and go as he stays.

Of course, the letter from the King never arrives, and when Zama notices that he has lost everything waiting, he decides to join a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit. Perhaps in this way, the King will hear about him (or hear of his bravery), and grant his request. Zama leaves to distant lands inhabited by wild Indians, but the bandit they are after turns out to be one of his own soldiers, Vicuña. Zama is taken prisoner and Vicuñas men weigh whether to kill him.

Liberated from any hope of transfer or promotion and knowing his own life is at risk, Zama finds that his only desire is to live.

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